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THE 



SELECT SPEECHES 



DANIEL O'GONNELL. M.P 



EDITED, WITH HISTORICAL NOTICES, Ero., 
BY HIS SOS, 

JOHN O'CONNELL ESQ, 



SECOND SEEIES. 



DUBLIN : 

JAMES DUFFY, WELLINGTON QUAY, 

AND 

22> PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON. 
1862. 



2] 

Dublin: Printed by Pattison Jolly, 
22, Essex-st. West, 



174129 



CONTENTS. 



The Corn Laws 

Catholic Aggregate Meeting, August 29, 181£ 
Remonstrance to Pope Pius VII. . •" 

Collision with the Vetoists 
Rhemish Bible 

Public Dinner to Mr. O'Connell at Tralee 
A Union Member 
Catholic Meeting 
Letter to the Catholics of Ireland 
Catholic Sub-Sheriffs 
The Dublin Election 
Catholic Affairs 

Catholic Meeting, June 22, 1820 
Meeting at Kilmainham . 
Letters of Mr. O'Connell 

Answer to Mr. O'ConnelTs Address by Mr. Sheil 
Statue of King William 
The Marquis of Wellesiey . 
Statue to Mr. Grattan 
Address to the Catholics of Ireland . 
-Aggregate Meeting, February 13, 1822 . 
National Testimonial to George the Fourth 
National Board of Education . 

Distress of the Poor in the South and West of Ireland 
Wallace v» Staunton — Libel 
Orange Demonstrations in Dublin . 
Mr. O'Connell on Circuit 
Outrage at the Theatre 
The Catholic Association 
Rev. Michael O'Connor v. J. T. Hayden and William Gly 
Church Rates . 

Motion of Thanks to Henry Brougham . 
Tithe Commutation Bill . • 
Extension of the Catholic Association 
Catholic Burying-ground 
Catholic Association, November 8, 1823 
Burial Grounds . . • 



CONTENTS. 



Eights of Sepulture 
Report of Burial Ground Committee 
Meeting, November 21, 1823 
Petition to Parliament on Catholic Grievances 
The Dublin Evening Mail 
Tithe Bill 

Enlargement of the Catholic Association 
Emancipation Rent . 
Meeting, February 24, 1324 
Kildare-street Association 
Meeting, May 15, 1824 . 
Meeting, May 22, 1824 
Catholic Barristers 
Disarming of Orangemen 
The Orange System 
Meeting, June 5, 1824 
Lord Redesdale 

Orange Signs — The Fermanagh Riots 
Ribbonmen 
Doctor Doyle „ 
Meeting, June 18, 1824 . 
Education in Ireland 
Calumnies against Mr. O'Connell 
Catholic Rent — Prospects of Emancipation 
Dinner to Mr. O'Connell 
Assassination of an Archbishop 

Annual Dinner of the Blanchards! own Patriotic Society 
Catholic Newspaper 
Poor Rates 
Parliamentary Agent 
Catholic Finance Committee 

Church Rates .... 
Prospects of Emancipate n 
Church Rates 
Catholic IS gent. 

Right Rev. Dr. Plunked 
Bible Meeting at Loughrea 
Aggregate Meeting of the Catholics of Mana 
Address to the People 
Letter from James O'Connell, Esq. 
The Penal Code— The Army 
Deputation to England 
Petitions to Parliament . . 
The Newspapers 

Prosecution against Mr. O'Connell on - charge oi ddiverinr 
words 

Arrest of Mr. O'Connell 
FaL*A Alarms of Plots 

Resolution relative to proceedings against Mr. O'Connell 



seditious 



SELECT SPEECHES 



OF' 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



If 



The speech of Mr. O'Connell, with which we commence this voLvr-e, was in many respects 
a remarkable one. In the first place it brings out in a clear light one great and marking 
feature of his poliey, that of steady persistance in the use of tho ways and means that the 
constitution provides for declaring grievances and demanding redress ; persistance through' j 
eveiy discouragement, and apparently, but only apparently, against hope itself at times. j 

In the next place it presents a lively pieture of the state of things in Europe, at tho 
period of the first Napoleon's first abdication — now not far from forty years ago ; the hope3 
then rationally entertained for human liberty — the opportunities then before kings and 
princes to give a permanent and enduring basis in the grateful affections of their enfran • : i 
chised subjects, to thrones and dynasties, yet but tremblingly re-established after the ter- 
rible hurrieane of war and conquest that had for a while overset them. To us, at present, 1 
anxious spectators of the probable beginning of another mighty European controversy in ! j 
arms; who have had such ample material and time to judge of the faults, the follies, the ! : 
mistakes, and the crimes that were committed in 1815, and that have borne such fatal fruit 
since (notably so in that year of terrible distraction and disaster, and of still more terrible 
omen of future evil, the year 1848), there cannot be anything more interesting than the pic- j 
ture this speech gives of things and expectations at the moment m question, when kings I 
ao4 princes had the destinies of nations, as well as their own in their hands, to model 
them for good or ill, at their pleasure ; and when a little wisdom, a little self-denial, a , 
little generosity, a little faithfulness to the promises by which, in former moments of 
deadly peril they had won the heart-whole support of their people against the French 
invader, might have secured the lasting peace and happiness of the world ! 

In the third place this speech is particularly remarkable for the clear, penetrating, and 
decisive view that Daniel O'Connell took of the now generally condemned and exploded 
injustice of the Corn Laws. Far otherwise were those laws at that time than condemned. 
They were just being re-enacted after an interval of several years ; and their re-enactment 
was, at the time we speak of, hailed by public speakers and writers as a measure of great j j 
wisdom. In Ireland, especially, were they held up as eminently calculated to be of benefit, 
and the assumed organs of public opinion here, and indeed whatever degree of public opi- ! 
nion then was active amongst us, fastened with a loving faith upon the plausibilities o* ; 
the scheme, and set down as ill-judging, or ill-disposed, any one who attempted to stay the j 
current, and urge a calmer and a larger consideration. 

It will be seen how even Mr. O'Connell, himself, popular as he then was, and little capable 
M he then or at any other time showed himself, of being daunted in any duty he had once \ 1 



6 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



undertaken, was obliged to content himseii with one brief, but clear and unmistakeable : 
denunciation of the Corn Laws, and to proceed with what dispatch he might, to topics 
more in consonance with the feelings and persuasions of his auditory. 

It will also be seen, that in truth, the whole case against the Corn Laws is stated in this 
speech, briefly, succinctly, powerfully. <The debates of 1846, the proceedings of the anti- 
Corn Law League in that, or in the busiest and most argumentative of its sessions prece- 
ding that j-year of its triumph, may be ransacked throughout, and not one argument will 
there be found that could add any thing to the force of Mr. O'Connell's declaration made 
. against those laws, in the very hour of their projection, when all the evils they were calcu- 
lated to produce, and which had become 'patent and undeniable in 1846, were as yet mat- 
ters of speculation and prophecy. 

This » remarkable speech ends with another matter of note— one of those constantly 
recurring protests that Mr. O'Connell uttered from time to time throughout the whole 
of his long political career, against any species of compromise of the entire independence 
of the Catholic church. 

The day on which he spoke was the 23rd of February, 1814, and the occasion wasia Catholic 
meeting held upon that day, to consider and decide what course was to be^pursued to 
recover Catholic rights. He is thus reported :— 

Mk. O'Connell said that he wished to submit to the meeting 
a resolution, calling on the different counties and cities in Ire- 
land to petition for unqualified emancipation. It was a resolu- 
tion which had been already and frequently adopted ; when we 
had persevered in our petitions, even at periods when we despaired 
of success ; and it became a pleasing duty to present them, now 
that the symptoms of the times seemed so powerfully to promise 
an approaching relief. 

Indeed,, as longas truth or justice could be supposed to influence 
man ; as long as man was admitted to be under the control of 
reason ; so long must it be prudent and wise to procure discus- 
sions on the sufferings and the rights of the people of Ireland. 
Truth proclaimed the treacherous iniquity which had deprived 
us of our chartered liberty ; truth destroyed the flimsy pretext 
under which this iniquity is continued ; truth exposed our merits 
and our sufferings ; whilst reason and justice combined to de- 
monstrate our right — the right of every human being to freedom 
of conscience — a right without which every honest man must feel 
that to him, individually, the protection of government is a 
mockery, and the restriction of penal law a sacrilege. 

Truth, reason, and justice are our advocates ; and even in Eng- 
land, let me tell you, that those powerful advocates have some 
authority. They are, it is true, more frequently resisted there 
than in most other countries : but yet they have some sway 
among the English at all times. Passion may confound, and 
prejudice darken the English understanding; and interested 
passion and hired prejudice have been successfully employed 
against us at former periods ; but the present season appears 



DANIEL O'COXXELL, ESQ., M.P. 7 

singularly well calculated to aid the progress of our cause, and 
to advance the attainment of our important objects. 

I do not make the assertion lightly. I speak after deliberate 
investigation, and from solemn conviction, my clear opinion, 
that we shall, during the present session of parliament, obtain 
a portion at least, if not the entire, of our emancipation. We 
cannot fail, unless we are disturbed in our course by those who 
graciously style themselves our friends, or are betrayed by the 
treacherous machinations of part of our own body. 

Yes, every thing, except false friendship and domestic treachery, 
forebodes success. The cause of man is in its great advance. 
Humanity has been rescued from much of its thraldom. In the 
states of Europe, where the iron despotism of the feudal system 
so long classed men into two species — the hereditary masters 
and the perpetual slaves ; when rank supplied the place of merit, 
and to be humbly born operated as a perpetual exclusion ; — in 
many parts of Europe man is reassuming his natural station, and 
artificial distinctions have vanished before the force of truth and 
the necessities of governors. 

France has a representative government ; and as the unjust 
privileges of the clergy and nobility are abolished ; as she is 
blessed with a most wise, clear, and simple code of laws ; as she 
is almost free from debt, and emancipated from odious prejudices, 
she is likely to prove an example and a light to the world. 

In Germany the sovereigns who formerly ruled at their free 
will and caprice, are actually bribing the people to the support 
of their thrones, by giving them the blessings of liberty. It is 
a wise and a glorious policy. The Prince Eegent has emanci- 
pated his Catholic subjects of Hanover, and traced for them the 
grand outlines of a free constitution. The other states of Ger- 
many are rapidly following the example. The people, no longer 
destined to bear the burdens only of society, are called up to take 
their share in the management of their own concerns, and in the 
sustentation of the public dignity and happiness. In short repre- 
| sentative government, the only rational or just government, is 
| proclaimed by princes as a boon to their people, and Germany 
is about to afford many an example of the advantages of rational j 
liberty. Anxious as some kings appear to be in the great work 
of plunder and robbery, others of them are now the first heralds 
of freedom. 

It is a moment of glorious triumph to humanity ; and even 
one instance of liberality freely conceded, makes compensation 
for a thousand repetitions of the ordinary crimes of military 



8 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



monarchs. The crime is followed by its own punishment ; but 
the great principle of the rights of man establishes itself now 
on the broadest basis, and France and Germany now set forth an 
example for England to imitate. 

Italy, too, is in the paroxysms 7 of the fever of independence. 
Oh, may she have strength to go through the disease, and may 
she rise like a giant refreshed with wine ! One thing is certain, 
that the human mind is set afloat in Italy. , The flame of free- 
dom burns ; it maybe smothered for a season; but all the whis- 
kered Croats and the fierce Pandours of Austria will not be able to 
extinguish the sacred fire. Spain to be sure, chills the heart, and 
disgusts the understanding. The combined Inquisition and the 
court — press upon the mind, whilst they bind the body in fetters 
of adamant. But this despotism is, thank God, as unrelentingly 
absurd as it is cruel, and there arises a darling hope out of the 
very excess of the evil. The Spaniards must be walking corpses — 
they must be living ghosts, and not human beings, unless a sub- 
lime reaction be in rapid preparation. But let us turn to our 
own prospects. 

The cause of liberty has made, and is making, great progress in 
states heretofore despotic. In all the countries in Europe, in 
which any portion of freedom prevails, the liberty of conscience 
is complete. England alone, of all the states pretending to be 
free, leaves shackles upon the human mind ; England alone, 
amongst free states, exhibits the absurd claim of regulating belief 
by law, and forcing opinion by statute. Is it possible to con- 
ceive that this gross, this glaring, this iniquitous absurdity can 
continue ? Is it possible, too, to conceive that it can continue 
to operate, not against a small and powerless sect, but against the 
millions, comprising the best strength, the most affluent energy 
of the empire 1 — a strength and an energy daily increasing, and 
hourly appreciating their own importance. The present system, 
disavowed by liberalized Europe, disclaimed by sound reason, 
abhorred by genuine religion, must soon and for ever be abol- 
ished. 

Let it not be said that the princes of the Continent were 
forced by necessity to give privileges to their subjects, and that 
England has escaped from a similar fate. I admit that the ne- 
cessity of procuring the support of the people was the mainspring 
of royal patriotism on the Continent ; but I totally deny that 
the ministers of England can dispense with a similar support. 
The burdens of the war are permanent ; the distresses occasioned 
by the peace are pressing ; the financial system tottering, and to 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



3 



be supported in profound peace only by a war taxation. In the 
meantime, the resources of corruption are mightily diminished. 
Ministerial influence is necessarily diminished by one-half of the 
effective force of indirect bribery ; full two-thirds must be dis- 
banded. Peculation and corruption must be put upon half-pay, 
and no allowances. The ministry lose not only all those active 
partizans ; those outrageous loyalists, who fattened on the public 
plunder during the seasons of immense expenditure ; but those very 
men will themselves swell the ranks of the malcontents, and proba- 
bly be the most violent in their opposition. They have no sweet 
consciousness to reward them in their present privations ; and 
therefore they are likely to exhaust the bitterness of- their souls ; 
on their late employers. Every cause conspires to render this ; 
the period in which the ministry should have least inclination, 
least interest, least power, to oppose the restoration of our rights 
and liberties. 

I speak not from mere theory. There exist at this moment 
practical illustrations of the truth of my assertions. Instances 
have occurred which demonstrate, as well the inability of the min- 
istry to resist the popular voice, as the utility of re-echoing that 
voice, until it is heard and understood in all its strength and 
force. The ministers had determined to continue the property 
tax ; they announced that determination to their partizans at 
Liverpool and in Bristol. Well, the people of England met ; they 
petitioned ; they repeated — they reiterated their petitions, until ; 
the ministry felt they could no longer resist ; and they ungra- 
ciously, but totally, abandoned their determination ; and the pro- 
perty tax now expires. 

Another instance is also now before us. It relates to the Corn 
Laws. The success of the repetition of petitions in that instance 
is the more remarkable, because such success has been obtained 
in defiance of the first principles of political economy, and in vio- 
lation of the plainest rules of political justice. 

This is not the place to discuss the merits of the Corn Laivs ; 
hut I cannot avoid, as the subject Iks in my way, to pat upon public 
record my conviction o/the inutility as well as the impropriety 
op the proposed measure respectixg those laws. / expect \ 
that it will be believed in Ireland that I would not volunteer thus 
an opposition of sentiment to any measure, if I was not most dis- 
interestedly, and in my conscience, convinced that such measure 

WOULD NOT BE OF ANY SUBSTANTIAL OR PERMAXEXT UTILITY TO IRE- 
LAND. 

As far as I am personally concerned, my interest plainly is tn 



10 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



keep up the price of lands ; but I am quite convinced that the 
measure in question will have an effect permanently and fatally 
injurious to Ireland. The clamour respecting the Corn Laws 
has been fomented by parsons who were afraid that they would not 
get money enough for their tithes, and absentee landlords, who 
apprehended a diminution of their rack rents ; and if you ob- 
served the names of those who have taken an active part in favour 
of the measure, you will find amongst them many, if not all, thfc 
persons who have most distinguished themselves against the li- 
berty and religion of the people. There have been, 1 know, many 
good men misled, and many clever men deceived, on this sub- 
ject ; but the great majority are of the class of oppressors. 
There was formed, some time ago, an association of a singular 

; nature in Dublin and the adjacent counties. Mr. Luke White 
was, as I remember, at the head of it. It contained some of our 
stoutest and most stubborn seceders : it published the causes of 
its institution ; it recited that, whereas butcher's meat was 
dearer in Cork, and in Limerick, and in Belfast than in Dublin, 
it was therefore expedient to associate, in order that the people 
of Dublin should not eat meat too cheap. Large sums were 
subscribed to carry the patriotic design into effect, but public 
indignation broke up the ostensible confederacy ; it was too 
plain and too glaring to bear public inspection. The indignant 
sense of -the people of Dublin forced them to dissolve their open 
association ; and if the present enormous increase of the price 
of meat in Dublin beyond the rest of Ireland be the result of 
secret combination of any individuals, there is at least this com- 
fort, that they do not presume to beard the public with the open 
^ avowal of their design to increase the difficulties of the poor in 

x procuring food. 
x Such a scheme as that, with respect to meat in Dublin — 
such a scheme, precisely, is the sought-for corn law. The only 
difference consists in the extent of the operation of both plans. 
The cornp lan is only more extensive, not more unjust in principle, 
but it is more unreasonable in its operation, because its necessary 
tendency must he to destroy that very market of which it seeks the 
exclusive possession. The corn laiv men want, they say, to have the 
exclusive feeding of the manufacturers ; but at present, our manu- 
facturers, loaded as they are with taxation, are scarcely able to 
meet the goods of foreigners in the markets of the world. The 
English are already undersold in foreign markets ; but, if to this 
dearness produced by taxation, there shall be added the clearness 
producedby dear food, is it not plain that it will be impossible 



DANIEL O'OQHNELL ESQ M.P. 



11 



to enter into a competition with foreign manufacturers, who have 
no taxes and cheap bread ? Thus the corn laws will destroy our 
manufactures, and compel our manufacturers to emigrate, in 
spite of penalties ; and the corn law supporters will have injured 
themselves and destroyed others. 

I beg pardon for dwelling on this subject. If I were at liberty 
to pursue it here, I would not leave it until I had satisfied every 
dispassionate man, that the proposed measure is both useless 
and unjust ; but this is not the place for doing so, and I only 
beg to record at least the honest dictates of my judgment on 
this interesting topic. My argument, of the efhcacy of peti- 
tioning, is strengthened by the impolicy of the measure in 
question ; because, if petitions, by their number and persever- 
ance, succeed in establishing a proposition impolitic in principle, 
and oppressive to thousands in operation, what encouragement 
does it not afford to us to repeat our petitions for that w T hich 
has justice for its basis, and policy as its support ! 

The great advantages of discussion being thus apparent, the 
efficacy of repeating, and repeating, and repeating again our pe- 
titions being thus demonstrated by notorious facts, the Catholics 
of Ireland must be sunk in criminal apathy, if they neglect the 
use of an instrument so efficacious for their emancipation. 

There is further encouragement at this particular crisis. Dis- 
sension has ceased in the Catholic body. Those who paralysed 
our efforts, and gave our conduct the appearance and reality of 
weakness, and wavering, and inconsistency, have all retired. 
Those who were ready to place the entire of the Catholic feeling? 
and dignity, and some of the Catholic religion too, under the 
feet of every man who pleased to call himself our friend, and to 
prove himself our friend, by praising on every occasion, and upon 
no occasion, the oppressors of the Catholics, and by abusing the 
Catholics themselves ; the men who would link the Catholic cause 
to this patron and to that, and sacrifice it at one time to the mi- 
nister, and at another to the opposition, and make it this day the 
tool of one party, and the next the instrument of another party , I 
the men, in fine, who hoped to traffic upon our country and our reli- 
gion — who would buy honours, and titles, and places, and pensions, 
at the price of the purity, and dignity, and safety of the Catholic 
Church in Ireland ; all those men have, thank God, quitted us, I 
hope for ever. They have returned into silence and secession, or 
have frankly or covertly gone over to our enemies. I regret deeply 
and bitterly that they have carried with them some few, w T ho, 
like my Lord Fingal, entertain no other motives than those of 



12 SELECT SPEECHES OF 

purity and integrity, and who, like that noble lord, are merely 
mistaken. 

But I rejoice at this separation— I rejoice that they have left 
the single-hearted, and the disinterested, and the indefatigable, 
and the independent, and the numerous, and the sincere Catho- 
lics to work out their emancipation unclogged, unshackled, and 
undismayed. They have bestowed on us another bounty also — 
they have proclaimed the causes of their secession — they have 
placed out of doubt the cause of the divisions. It is not intem- 
perance, for that we abandoned ; it is not the introduction of 
extraneous topics, for those we disclaimed ; it is simply and 
purely, veto or no veto— restriction or no restriction— no other 
words j it is religion and principle that have divided us ; thanks, 
many thanks to the tardy and remote candour of the seceder^ 
that has at length written in large letters the cause of their seces- 
sion;- — it is the Catholic Church of Ireland- — it is whether that 
Church shall continue independent of a Protestant ministry or not. 
We are for its independence- — the seceders are for its dependence. 

Whatever shall be the fate of our emancipation question, thank 
God we are divided for ever from those who would wish that 
our Church should crouch to the partizans of the Orange system, 
Thank God, secession has displayed its cloven foot, and avowed 
itself to be synonymous with vetoism. 

Those are our present prospects of success. First, man is 
elevated from slavery almost every where, and human nature has 
become more dignified, and, I may say, more valuable. Secondly, 
England wants our cordial support, and knows that she has 
only to concede to us justice in order to obtain our affectionate 
assistance. Thirdly, this is the season of successful petition, 
and the very fashion of the times entitles our petition to succeed. 
Fourthly, the Catholic cause is disencumbered of hollow friends, 
and interested speculators. Add to all these the native and in- 
herent strength of the principle of religious freedom, and the 
inert and accumulating weight of our wealth, our religion, and 1 
our numbers, and where is the sluggard that shall dare to doubt 
our approaching success ? 

Besides, even our enemies must concede to us, that we act from 
principle, and from principle only. We prove our sincerity when 
we refuse to make our emancipation a subject of traffic and bar- 
ter, and ask for relief only upon those grounds which, if once 
established, would give to every other sect the right to the same 
political immunity. All we ask is " a clear stage and no favour." 
We think the Catholic religion the most rationally consistent 



DANIEL o'CONNELL ESQ. M.P. 



with the divine scheme of Christianity, and therefore, all we ask 
is, that everybody should be. left to his unbiassed reason and 
judgment. If Protestants are equally sincere, why do they call 
the law, and the bribe, and the place, and the pension, in support 
of their doctrines ? Why do they fortify themselves behind pains, 
and penalties, and exclusions, and forfeitures ? Ought not our op- 
ponents to feel that they degrade the sanctity of their religion, 
when they call in the profane aid of temporal rewards and pun- 
ishments, and that they proclaim the superiority of our creed, 
when they thus admit themselves unable to contend against it 
upon terms of equality, and by the weapons of reason and argu- 
ment, and persevere in refusing us all we ask — " a clear stage 
and no favour." 

Yes, Mr. Chairman, our enemies in words and by actions, < ; 
admit and proclaim our superiority. It remains to our friends 
alone,, and to that misguided and ill-advised portion of the Ca- 
tholics who have shrunk into secession — it remains for those 
friends and seceders alone to undervalue our exertions, and under- 
rate our conscientious opinions. 

Great and good God, in what a cruel situation are the Catho- 
lics of Ireland placed ! If they have the manliness to talk of ) 
their oppressors as the paltry bigots deserve — if they have the ! 
honesty to express, even in measured language, a small portion j 
of the sentiments, of abhorrence which peculating bigotry 
ought naturally to inspire — if they condemn the principle which 
established the inquisition in Spain, and Orange lodges in Ire- 
land, they are assailed by the combined clamour of those parlia- 
mentary friends, and title-seeking, place-hunting seceders. The 1 
war-whoop of " intemperance" is sounded, and .a persecution is 
instituted by our advocates and our seceders — against the Catho- 
lic who dares to be honest, and fearless, and independent ! 

But I tell you what they easily forgive — nay, what our friends, 
sweet souls, would vindicate to-morrow in parliament, if the sub- 
ject arose there. Here it is — here is The Dublin Journal of the 
21st of February, printed just two days ago. In the administra- 
tion of Lord Whitworth, and the secretaryship of Mr. Peel, there 
is a government newspaper— a paper supported solely by the 
money of the people ; for its circulation is little, and its private I 
advertisements less. Here is a paper continued in existence 
like a wounded reptile, only whilst in the rays of the sun, by the 
heat and warmth communicated to it by the Irish administrat ion. : 
Let me read two passages for you. The first calls "Popery the I 
deadly enemy of pure religion and rational liberty" Such ia j 



14 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



the temperate description the writer gives of the Catholic faith. 
With respect to purity of religion I shall not quarrel with him. 
I only differ with him in point of taste ; but I should be glad to 
know what this creature calls rational liberty. I suppose such 
as existed at Lacedsemon — the dominion of Spartans over 
Helots — the despotism of masters over slaves, that is his rational 
liberty. We will readily pass so much by. But attend to tnte : — 

" I will," says this moderate and temperate gentleman, " lay 
before the reader such specimens of the popish superstiti6n as will 
convince him that the treasonable combinations cemented by oaths, 
and r the nocturnal robbery and assassination which have pre- 
vailed for many years past in Ireland, and still exist in many 
varts of it, are produced as a necessary consequence by its intole- 
rant and sanguinary principles." 

Let our seceders — let our gentle friends who are shocked at 
our intemperance, and are alive to the mild and conciliating vir- 
tues of Mr. Peel, read this passage, sanctioned I may almost say, 
certainly countenanced by those who do the work of governing 
Ireland. Would to God we had but one genuine, unsophisticated 
friend, one real advocate in the House of Commons ! how such 
a man would pour down indignation on the clerks of the Castle, 
who pay for this base and vile defamation of our religion — of the 
religion of nine-tenths of the population of Ireland ! 

But, perhaps, I accuse falsely ; perhaps the administration of 
Ireland are guiltless of patronizing these calumnies ; look at the 
paper and determine ; it contains nearly five columns of adver- 
tisements — only one from a private person — and even that is a 
notice of an anti-Popery pamphlet, by a Mr. Cousins, a curate of 
the Established Church. Dean Swift has somewhere observed, 
that the poorest of all possible rats was a curate — (much la.ugh- 
ing) ; and if this rat be so, if he have as usual, a large family, a 
great appetite, and little to eat, I sincerely hope that he niay^get 
what he wants — a fat living. Indeed for the sake of consistency, 
and to keep up the succession of bad pamphlets, he ought to get 
a living. 

, Well, what, think you, are the rest of the advertisements ? 
First, there are three from the worthy Commissioners of Wide 
Streets; one dated 6th August, 1813, announcing that they 
would, the ensuing Wednesday, receive Certain proposals. 
Secondly, the Barony of Middlethircl is proclaimed, as of the 
6th of September last, for fear the inhabitants of that barony 
should not as yet know they were proclaimed. Thirdly, the pro- 
clamation against the Catholic Board, dated only the 3rd day of 



DANIEL O'COXXELL, ESQ., M.P. 



15 



June last, is printed lest any person should forget the history of 
last year. Fourthly there is proclamation stating that gun- 
powder was not to be carried coastwise for six months, and this 
is dated the oth of October last. But why should I detain you 
with the details of state proclamations, printed for no other pur- 
pose than as an excuse for putting so much of the public money 
into the pocket of a calumniator of the Catholics. The abstract of 
the rest is that there is one other proclamation, stating that Liver- 
pool is a port fit for importation from the East Indies ; another 
forbidding British subjects from serving in the American forces 
during the present, that is, the past war ; and another stating, 
that although we had made peace with France, we are still at 
war with America, and that, therefore, no marine is to desert ; 
and to finish the climax, there is a column and a half of ex- 
tracts from several statutes ; all this printed at the expense of 
government, that is at the expense of the people. 

Look now at the species of services for which so enormous a 
sum of our money is thus wantonly lavished ! It consists sim- 
ply of calumnies against the Catholic religion— calumnies so 
virulently atrocious, as, in despite of tho intention of the authors, 
to render themselves ridiculous. This hireling accuses our re- 
ligion of being an enemy to liberty, of being an encourager of 
treason, of instigating to robbery, and producing a system of 
assassination. Here are libels for which no prosecution is insti- 
tuted. Here are libels which are considered worthy of encou- 
ragement, and which are rewarded by the Irish treasury. And 
is it for this— is it to supply this waste, this abuse of public 
money — is it to pay for those false and foul calumnies, that we are 
in a season of universal peace, to be borne down with a war tax- 
ation ] Are we to have two or three additional millions of taxes 
imposed upon us in peace, in order that this intestine war of 
atrocious calumny may be carried on against the religion of the 
people of Ireland, with all the vigour of full pay, and great 
plunder] Let us, agitators, be now taunted by jobbers in par- 
liament with our violence, our intemperance. Why, if we were 
not rendered patient by the aid of a dignified contempt, is there 
not matter enough to *disgust, and to irritate almost beyond en- 
durance ? 

Thus are we treated by our friends, and our enemies, and our 
seceders ; the first abandon, the second oppress, the third betray 
us, and they all join in calumniating us ; in the last they are all 
combined. See how naturally they associate ; — this libeller in 
The Dublin Journal, who calls the Catholic religion a system of 



16 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



assassination, actually praises in the same paper, some indivi- 
dual Catholics ; he praises, by name, Quarantotti, and my Lord 
Fingal (much laughing) ; and the respectable party (those are 
his words) who join with that noble lord. 

Of Lord Fingal I shall always speak with respect, because i 
entertain the opinion that his motives are pure and honourable ; 
but can anything, or at least ought anything place his secession 
in so strong a point of view to the noble lord himself, as to find 
that he and his party are praised by the very man who, in the 
next breath, treats his religion as a system of assassination. Let 
that party have all the enjoyment which such praises can confer; 
but if a spark of love for their religion or their country remains 
with them, let them recollect that they could have earned those 
praises only by having, in the opinion of this writer, betrayed 
the one, and degraded the other. 

This writer, too, attempts to traduce Lord Donoughmore. 
He attacks his lordship in bad English, and worse Latin, for hav- 
ing, as he says, cried peccavi to Popish thraldom. But the ig- 
norant trader in virulence knew not how to spell that single Latin 
word, because they do not teach Latin at the charter schools. 

I close with conjuring the Catholics to persevere in their pre- 
sent course. 

Let us never tolerate the slightest inroad on the discipline of our 
ancient, our holy Church. Let us never consent that she should 
be made the hireling of the ministry. Our forefathers would 
have died-, nay, they perished in hopeless slavery, rather than con- 
sent to such degradation. 

Let us rest upon the barrier where they expired, or go bach into 
slavery, rather than forward into irreligion and disgrace I Let 
us also advocate our cause on the two great principles — first, 
that of an eternal separation in spirituals between our Church 
and the state ; secondly, that of the eternal right to freedom oj 
conscience — a right which, I repeat it with pride and pleasure, 
would exterminate the Inquisition in Spain, and bury in oblivion 
the bloody orange flag of dissension in Ireland ! 

Mr. O'Connell concluded by moving his resolution, calling on the several counties to 
petition. 

With reference to the matters touched upon in the concluding part of the speech just 
given, we may, in passing, record that the spring and summer of 1815 witnessed many 
proofs that the heart of Ireland was sound ; and in August of the same year the public 
mind was cheered by the following declaration of the bishops: — 

" At a meeting of the Eoman Catholic prelates of Ireland, held in Dublin, on the 23rd and 
24th of August, 1815, the following resolutions were imanimously agreed to— the Most 
Rev. Dr. Kelly, president* — 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



17 



* Resolved — That it is our decided and conscientious conviction 
tnat any power granted to the crown of Great Britain, of interfering 
directly or indirectly, in the appointment of Bishops for the Roman 
'Catholic Church in Ireland, must essentially injure, and may eventually 
subvert, the Roman Catholic religion in this country. 

"Resolved — That, with this conviction deeply and unalterably 
impressed on our minds, we should consider ourselves as betraying the 
dearest interests of that portion of the Church which the Holy Ghost 
has confided to our care, did we not declare, most unequivocally, that 
we will at all times, and under all circumstances, deprecate and oppose, 
in every canonical and constitutional way, any such interference 

* Resolved — Though we sincerely venerate the supreme pontiff as 
visible head of the Church, we do not conceive that our apprehensions 
for the safety of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland can or ought 
to be removed by any determination of his Holiness, adopted, or intended 
to be adopted, not only without our concurrence, but in direct opposi- 
tion to our repeated resolutions, and the very energetic memorial pre- 
sented on our behalf, and so ably supported by our deputy, the Most 
Rev. Dr. Murray ; who, in that quality, was more competent to inform 
his Holiness of the real state and interests of the Roman Catholic 
Church in Ireland, than any other with whom he is said to have con- 
sulted. 

" Resolved — That a declaration of these our sentiments, respectful, 
firm, and decided, be transmitted to the Holy See, which, we trust, will 
engage his Holiness to feel and acknowledge the justness and propriety 
of this our determination. 

6 Resolved — That our grateful thanks are due, and hereby given, 
co the Most Rev. Dr. Murray, and the Right Rev. Dr. Milner, our 
late deputies to Rome, for their zealous and able discharge of the trust 
reposed in them. 

" Oliver Kelly, President. 

" Richard O'Reilly. Farrell O'Reilly, Kilmore. 

J. T. Troy. P. Ryan, Ferns. 

Thomas Bray, Cashel, (proxy). Charles Tuohy, Limerick 

P. Everard, Coad. Cashel. G. Plunket, Elphin. 

D. Murray, Coad. Dublin. John Murphy, Cork. 

Pat. Jos. Plunket, Meath. Patrick M« Mullen, Down and Connor 

William Coppinger, Cloyne. Kyran Marum, Ossory. 

Thomas Costelloe, Clonfert. Peter M'Loughlin, Raphoe. 

Charles Sughrue, Kerry. James Murphy, Clogher. 

John Power, Waterford. Edmund Derry, Dromore. 

■Charles O'Donnell, Derry. Mich. Corcoran, Elect, Kildare and 
.John O'Flinn, Achonry. Leighlin. 

^Peter Waldron, Killala. James M'Gauran, Elect. Ardagh. 
James 0'Shaughnessy,Killaloe. Edmond Ffrench, Warden of Ga 1 - 

vol. ii. wa y" ^ 



18 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



This' document drew from the Catholic laity the following expressions of gratitude and 
delight : — 

" CATHOLIC AGGREGATE MEETING * 

"TUESDAY, 29TH AUGUST, 1815. 

" Resolved— That we deem it our first and most pleasing duty to 
express, in the strongest terms which our language can afford, our per- 
fect confidence in, and esteem and veneration for, and gratitude to the 
most reverend and right reverend the Catholic prelates of Ireland ; and 
these our unanimous sentiments are deeply and everlastingly impressed 
on our minds, by their firm, manly, and decided condemnation of any 
measure, giving to the crown, or the servants of the crown, any control 
whatsoever over the appointment of our bishops, inasmuch as any such 
measure must necessarily tend to destroy our religion, and also mate- 
rially injure the civil rights and liberties of the people of Ireland, 0/ 
all classes and denominations. 

" Resolved — That our chairman be requested to transmit, in terms 
of the most affectionate respect, our most cordial gratitude to those 
learned, exemplary, and pious clergymen, Archdeacon Blake, Doctors 
Lube and Barcy, and to the other reverend and estimable clergymen 
of the second order of the Irish Roman Catholic hierarchy, who have 
concurred with them in constant and unqualified opposition to the 
abhorred veto in all its shapes and forms. 

" Resolved — That we cannot omit this occasion to publish to the 
world the fervent tribute of our lively gratitude and most profound 
reverence for the officiating Catholic priests of Ireland ; a class of men 
uniformly distinguished by the most unremitting zeal and activity, and 
by the most incessant charity and disinterested purity, in discharge o 
their sacred duties ; — mett ivhom no dangers have terrified, no perse- 
cution has ever deterred, no seduction has ever led astray, and no temp- 
tation could ever bribe, from the faithful discharge of their duties ; and 
who have obtained, as they have well deserved, the heart-felt admira- 
tion of all the persons of their own persuasion, and the decided appro- 
bation of the liberal and enlightened of every other religion. 

" Resolved — That the Catholics of Ireland having, on their solemn 
oath, declared that the Pope has not, and ought nbt to have, any tem- 
poral or civil jurisdiction, power, superiority, or pre-eminence, directly 
or indirectly, within this realm ; we cannot, without exposing ourselves 
and our religion to just derision and reproach, and also without incur- 
ring the dreadful guilt of perjury, consent to any arrangement by which 
the British minister may derive from the Court of Rome any jurisdic- 
tion or power over the transactions in civil life, and conduct in tem- 
poral affairs, of the Roman Catholic clergy in Ireland, and that our 
resistance to any such arrangements, instead of operating in our dis- 
favour in the mind of any just and rational statesman,, ought, on -the 
contrary, to convince him that we deserve liberty, as well because such 
conduct furnishes one more powerful instance of their conscientious 

* These resolutions were drawn up t>y Mr. O'Connell 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 19 

adherence to the obligation of an oath, as because it proves that we 
practically distinguish the spiritual authority of. his Holiness the Pope, 
which we always fully recognise, from any civil or temporal power or 
authority in him, or derived from him, which we disclaim, and would, 
if necessary, resist at the peril of our lives." 

When the fourth resolution was put, Mr. O'Conneil came forward and spoke at consider- 
able length. The following is the best extract we can give of his speech :— 

This, said he, is a day of gratulation and triumph. The sen- 
timents of delight which we experience are pure and unmixed. 
Our great cause is at length placed on its proper basis. Win or 
lose, we are sure our religion cannot suffer. Our question is 
now stripped of all the intricacies and details in which it was 
involved by false friends and perfidious co-operators. It reduces 
itself simply and singly to this — shall we be emancipated as 
Catholics, or as Catholics continue slaves ? 

Every attempt to barter religion for liberty — every scheme 
to traffic upon our faith, for civil benefits, is destroyed for ever 
and this additional advantage results among ourselves, that the 
unanimity of the Irish Catholics is now secure from all danger. 
As one great mass of weight and consistency, we should now 
proceed towards the attainment of liberty. The seceders are 
deprived of every excuse, of every colour or pretext for division. 
No man who continues to secede, can pretend to sincerity as a 
Catholic, or purity as an Irishman. 

The secession originated in the concealed desire to facilitate 
the ministerial arrangements with the Pope and the bishops. 
Secession was afterwards justified on the avowed grounds of per- 
mitting such arrangements to take place unimpeded by the laity; 
but now that those arrangements are impossible — now that the 
bishops have declared their irrevocable opposition— now that 
they have declared that ministerial interference must essentially 
injure, and may destroy the Catholic religion in Ireland ; where 
is the man who can get credit for his pretence of being a Catho- 
lic, who still continues his secession, to favour that which the 
highest and most revered authority has told him must essentially 
injure, and may destroy his religion 1 Oh no, if the seceders be 
sincere, and some, at least, amongst them, I am at present con- 
vinced are so — if they be honest, they will now send in their 
adhesion, and rejoin the ranks of their struggling countrymen. 

It is unnecessary, I am sure, to prove that no seceder can 1 
now lay claim to pure devotion to his country. They cannot 
require us to believe that they are honest as politicians, or faith- 
ful as Irishmen, whilst they endeavour to add to the corrupt 



20 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



influence of Lord Castlereagh, and strive to increase the power 
in Ireland of the worthy champion of Orangeism — Mr. Peel. 
'At the mention of Mr. Peel's name there was much laughing.) 

You mistake me, said Mr. O'Connell. I do not — indeed^ I do ) 
hot intend this day to enter into the merits of that celebrated 
statesman. All I shall say of him, by way of parenthesis, is, 
that I am told he has in my absence, and in a place where he 
was privileged from any account, grossly traduced me. I said, 
at the last meeting, in the presence of the note- takers of the 
police, who are paid by him, that he was too prudent to attack 
me in my presence. I see the same police informers here now, 
and I authorize them carefully to report these my words, that 
Mr. Peel would not DARE, in my presence, or in any place 
where he was liable to personal account, use a single expression 
derogatory to my interest, or my honour. And now I have 
done with the man, who is just fit to be nothing but the cham- 
pion of Orangeism. I have done with him, perhaps for ever. 

I return to our proper topic of joy and exultation ! 

Our prelates have amply justified the veneration in which 
ihey are held. Never were there men more respected and re- 
vered. No men ever deserved so much respect and reverence. 
But the gratitude they have merited, and the triumph they 
have won, is rendered doubly delightful by its being exclusively 
Irish. It belongs to Irishmen alone ; not a foreigner has any 
claim to it. 

Our church was either betrayed or sold to the British minis- 
ter at Vienna ; indeed, the exact amount of price is stated to 
be eleven thousand guineas. Though a cardinal, the agent was 
not a priest. Quarantotti, and Cardinal Litta, were, of course, 
foreigners. Then the next class in the arrangement of the veto 
are the English Catholic bishops. First of all, I must mention 
a name that ought not, perhaps, though it will surprise you — 
Doctor Milner. Yes ; Doctor Milner has performed another 
truly English revolution. He was the first to broach the veto. 
He came to Ireland on a vetoistical mission ; the Irish rejected 
the mission and the missionary. He then recanted his errors — ■ 
renounced his first opinions — abjured them — and we sustained 
him for his anti- vetoistical principle. 

Well, what has occurred now? Why, Doctor Milner has 
i gone round again, and has actually written to the bishops to ac- 
cede to Litta's plan of veto. Milner's letter was read at the 
synod ; it was, I understand, an official document ; of its con- 
tents 1 can give you certainly an abstract, because its contents 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



21 



have been communicated to me by one of our prelates, whose 
name, if necessary, I am at full liberty to use. His letter re- 
quested of the bishops to accede to the new plan of veto. It 
stated that the government would not be satisfied with so little ; 
that it would require more ; and, therefore, concluded the can- 
did prelate, you may with safety accede to his plan ; it will 
never be brought into operation, and you will have the grace of 
showing your acquiescence, without any danger to the Church. 
(Loud laughter.) 

But well knowing that there was something in the Irish un- 
derstanding that would scorn such advice, he proceeded to state 
and to solve the following ingenious dilemma : — " Either (says 
his letter) the candidate for episcopacy in Ireland will be dis-^ 
loyal, or he will not be disloyal. If he be disloyal, we would all 
(continues Doctor Milner) be rejoiced that he lost the bishopric." 
Now, I beg just to inquire the meaning of the word disloyalty. 
In this country it generally means disinterested attachment to 
the right's and liberty of Ireland. The more honest, zealous, 
and pure is the love of any man for his native land, the more 
certain he is of being charged with disloyalty \ whilst on the 
other hand, we see plunder, and torture, and murder called 
loyalty. But mark, I pray you, how Doctor Milner treats the 
other horn of the dilemma. " If (says he) the candidate be a 
loyal man, and that the British ministry shall strike out his 
name, on a suspicion of his disloyalty, he will have an excellent 
action at law against the British minister." Yes ; an action at 
law by an Irish parish priest or friar against the prime minister 
of England, for exercising a discretionary power vested in him ! 

The most zealous apostle of the veto is another English pre- 
late (Doctor Foynter). Foor man ! his principal means of sup- 
port depended an the uncertain gratuity of a few of the upper 
class (as they are called) of English Papists ; he would piefer 
the more solid engagement of a permanent pension from govern- 
ment. He exerted every nerve to carry this ruinous measure. 

"You owe all your safety and success to the Catholic bishops 
of Ireland. They have defeated eveiy argument ; they have 
withstood every seduction ; they have disappointed every un- 
hallowed expectation. "What an idle pretext is this anxiety to 
ascertain their loyalty ! I challenge the calumniators of every 
class — calumny prospers in Ireland — it is the best trade going. 
Well, I challenge the host of calumniators to point out a single 
instance in which, since the He volution, an Irish Catholic bishop 
was charged with disloyalty. 



22 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



Away with this vile pretence; it is political power the minister 
wants. He desires, too, to get rid of your religion, because it is 
troublesome ; but his great object is to increase his influence — 
to enlarge the number of his retainers — to give corruption a 
more extended sphere of action, that the very name of liberty 
may be blotted out, and ministerial management take the place 
of constitutional control. We have opposed the veto as Catho- 
lics ; our worst fears have been confirmed by the decisive autho- 
rities of the bishops* Their words contain such a justification 
of our resistance that I must repeat them. They say — "It 
must essentially injure, and may subvert, the Catholic religion 
in Ireland."'' As Catholics, then, do I say to all the subjects of 
the empire, we are bound to resist this measure. This is our 
vindication— our full justification. 

But it has always been odious to me on another account. If 
I were a Protestant by education and from conviction, as I am 
a Catholic by education and from conviction, I declare to God 
I should equally oppose and resist the veto. Every enlightened 
and liberal Protestant ought to thank us for our opposition ; for 
what enlightened man is there who does not see the frightful pro- 
gress of corrupt influence, where direct dominion would be re- 
sisted and overthrown ? Corruption eats its silent way ; it de- 
vours the vitals of the state, whilst it allows the outward forms 
and shapes to retain the appearances of pristine strengths and 
vigour. The parliament, more than thirty years ago, declared 
that " the influence of the crown had increased, was increasing, 
and ought to be diminished." Alas] from that day to this, the 
evil has only accumulated ; no attempt at a remedy has been 
entertained. Who is the honest man that could put his hand 
to his heart, and say, that this influence has not swept away the 
most valuable part of that for which the English of old fought, 
and bled, and ? died— constitutional liberty? And can such a 
man, thus convinced, allow the minister to take, at one sweep, 
all the influence of another Church 1 No man who values the 
safety of what remains to us of the constitution, can assent to 
the gratuitous bestowing of more energy on the disease which 
undermines the constitution. 

There is, however, a more pressing view of this danger, which 
arises when we behold the present state of Ireland. She has no 
parliament of her own ; there is little of interest, and less of 
sympathy for the complaints of Ireland in that of England. 
What grievance has the imperial parliament redressed 1 — what 
inconvenience has it remedied 1 Let those who can, inform us 



DANIEL O'CONNELL ESQ., M.P. 



23 



when have our prayers been listened to. The very remoteness cf 
tfuifi parliament renders the sound of our complaints weak and in- 
efficient. 

This is a tdpic which I would fain dwell upon ; but, aias 1 to 
bewail our misfortunes in the language of truth may be crime ; 
and to speak historically of the practical evils that have flowed 
from the Union, would probably be punished by the very men 
who themselves loudly foretold the very calamities which we en- 
dure, and which they sometimes now inflict. But this very ap- 
prehension of talking the truth serves only to prove now dismal would 
the prospect of Liberty be, if in every Catholic diocese in Ireland 
there were an active partisan of the minister, and in every Catholic 
parish an active informer, Who is it that is ignorant of the 
present plan of patronage in Ireland ? Why, have I not myself 
been the means of promoting many and many an adventurer % 
I have actually promoted more than one clergyman of the Es- 
tablished Church, and our cause has promoted many of them. 
To instance only one, there is the rectory of Clane, in the county 
of Kildare, which ought to be placed to my credit. A reverend 
parson, of the name of Thorpe, wrote as ill-constructed a pam- 
phlet as it is possible to imagine, to abuse me. The subject 
ought, I think, to have enlivened the man ; it was dull, indeed 
— but it was virulent, and he was immediately rewarded with 
the living of Clane. There is Elrington, the provost, too ; how 
many a man of genius, taste, and learning in college was over- 
looked when he was promoted from his retirement ! The public 
were astonished. Who could account for this promotion, when 
there were so many in college and about college more suited to 
the dignity'? But it was recollected that he had written a pam- 
phlet or book against the Papists, and either dedicated or sent 
it to the Duke of Cumberland, who is one of the greatest patrons 
of the Established Church in Ireland, and Chancellor of our 
University. Oh ! a pamphlet against Popery ! The provostship 
was little enough for .him. But did any body ever read the 
pamphlet through ? If I had to sentence one of our worst ene-' 
mies, I should not desire a more malignant sentence than to 
condemn him to the reading, distinctly and without omission, 
the entire of that pamphlet. Human nature, I fear, could not 
bear it. 

Need I point out to you the regular plan of county patronage 
in Ireland ? Shall I trouble you with the well-known details 1 
The Catholic bishop would become one of the appendages of the 
county patron ; and, if he should, against all expectation, prove 



24 



SELECT SPEECHES OP 



ungrateful or refractory, means would easily be found to get rid 
of him. If we allow the minister to appoint our bishop, it would 
follow that the minister would soon procure a law to authorize 
him to cashier the bishop, when necessary, as well as to make 
him. It would indeed follow, from the principle, that the 
minister was to regulate the loyalty of the bishop. 

If he was to prevent a disloyal priest from being a bishop, 
surely he ought to have the power to turn off a man who had 
obtained a mitre by pretending to be loyal, and who afterwards 
proved disloyal. Every person who granted the first, must 
admit the fair and obvious necessity of the second. And 
if, in addition to all his other influence, this authority were 
given to the minister and his dependents, where would the tor- 
rent of corruption be stayed, or where could resistance against 
any future plan for the establishment of arbitrary power be 
hoped for ? 

I do, therefore, deprecate the veto, as an Irishman. As an 
ardent and enthusiastic lover of liberty, I detest it, and would 
oppose it at every peril. In both capacities, as Catholics and as 
Irishmen, we will ever resist it ; ani, placing on our banners 
the sacred words " religion" and " liberty," wage an eternal war 
against the open enemies and insidious foes of both. (Hear, 
hear, hear ! — great applause.) 

The veto is defeated, and for ever ; but the question then 
arises, whether we shall ever be emancipated without it ? I have 
been asked this question ; my reply has been : we shall not, 
perhaps — probably we shall. But if we are not, we shall, at all 
events, have preserved our religion and our honour. If we con- x 
tinue in an unjust inferiority of political station, we shall, at 
least, remain sincere Catholics and faithful Irishmen. We may 
not be able " to command success ;" but we will have done more 
— " we will have deserved it." 

We have refuted every calumny ; we have practically dis- 
proved every objection ; we have shown how powerless the Pope 
is to alter, without the assent of our bishops, the discipline of 
the Church. And we now exhibit the determination, which we 
have always avowed, to resist any measures originating in Rome, 
of a political tendency or aspect. I know of no foreign prince 
whom, in temporal matters, the Catholics of Ireland would more 
decidedly resist, than the Pope ; and this whilst they respected 
and recognised his spiritual authority. (Hear, hear, hear.) 

But we will — we must succeed. If there be an over-ruling 
Providence in heaven — if there be justice or wisdom on earth, 



DANIEL 0?GONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



| we ought to expect success. Our liberties were not lost in any 
I disastrous battle. Our rights were not won from us in any 
field of fight. No; our ancestors surrendered upon capitula- 
tion. A large army — many fortresses — a country devoted to 
them — foreign assistance at hand ; all these our ancestors sur- 
rendered, on the faith of a solemn treaty, which stipulated, iu 
return, for Ireland, " liberty of conscience." The treaty was 
ratified — it passed the great seal of England ; it was observed 
— yes, it was observed by English fidelity — just seven weeks. 
Our claim of contract has not been worn out by time. The 
obligation on England is not barred by a century of injustice 
and oppression. 

It has been attributed to the bigotry of the Catholics of 
Brabant and Flanders, that they have rejected the new consti- 
tution of the Netherlands, because it favoured religious liberty. 
Absurd calumny ! They were, it is known, attached to the 
government of Napoleon, who established universal liberty of 
conscience ; but there were many and many Irish colleges and 
convents in Brabant and Flanders. The inhabitants had been 
practically informed of the breach of faith — of the violation of 
solemn treaty by the first Prince of Orange who reigned over 
Catholic Ireland. What was so natural as that they should 
entertain fears lest a breach of faith, a violation of treaty should 
signalize the first prince of that same House of Orange that was 
to reign over Catholic Brabant. 

We are not, I repeat it, overthrown in battle. Our oppres- 
sion originated in injustice. It has not been justified by any 
subsequent crime or delinquency on our parts. For a century 
and a half of sufferings, we have exhibited a fidelity unaltered 
and unalterable. Our allegiance to the state has been equalled 
only by our attachment to the faith of our fathers. But we 
now present the extraordinary spectacle of men at one and the 
same time the reproach of the justice, and the refuge and suc- 
cour in danger, of the British empire. Let the hardiest of our 
opponents say what that empire would now be but for the Ca- 
tholics of Ireland. 

Thus do the Catholics urge their claims. They complain of 
original injustice ; they insist on present merits ; they require 
the aid of, and they place their emancipation on, the great prin- 
ciple of the universal right of liberty of conscience ; they call 
on England to behold a prelacy promoted from their superior 
merits, and rendering illustrious their superior station by the un- 
obtrusive but continued exertion of all the labours and all the vir~ 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



tues tfnat could ornament and dignify episcopacy* (Great and 
long-continued applause.) 

They call on England to behold a priesthood having no other 
motives but their sense of religion ; seeking no other reward but 
the approbation of their own consciences ; learned, pious, and hum- 
ble ; always active in the discharge of their duties ; teaching the 
young, comforting the old, instructing the ignorant, restraining the 
vicious, encouraging the good, discountenancing and terrifying the 
criminal — visiting the hovel of poverty, soothing the pangs of sick- 
ness and of sorrow, showing the path to heaven and themselves lead- 
ing the way. (Kepeated bursts of applause.) 

They call on England to behold a people faithful even under 
persecution — grateful for a pittance of justice — cheerful under op- 
pressive taxation — foremost in every battle, and giving an earnest 
of their allegiance and attachment to a government which they 
could love, by their attachment to the religion which they revere 
— proving, by their exclusion and sufferings, their practical reve- 
rence for the obligation of an oath : and by their anxiety to be 
admitted into the full enjoyment of the constitution, how power- 
fully they appreciate the^enjoyment of civil liberty. Such a people 
as this — distinguishing at one and the same time spiritual autho- 
rity, which is not of this world, from temporal power, which 
belongs to it — giving to God the things which are God's, [but 
preserving to Caasar the things which are Caesar's — such a nation 
as this, prelates, priests and people, demand, with manly firmness, 
but with decent respect, their birthright — Liberty, their honest 
earning : that which they maintain with their money, and sustain 
with their blood — the Constitution. 

Such are the persons who require emancipation ; such is the 
nature of their claim. Shall I be told, then, by interested bigotry, 
that the people of England cannot, in conscience, grant our de- 
mands ? Conscience, indeed! Oh, let the English conscience 
consult justice, and we shall soon be free. But the objection is 
futile and ridiculous. Why, there are now upwards of live hun- 
dred different sects in England, and our demands favour every 
one, except the Established Church ; for all we ask is liberty and 
conscience. We do not ask — we would not take peculiar privi- 
leges or individual advantages ; we ask that religion should be 
left between man and his Creator, and that conscience should be 
free. 

Let me, however, read for you the extract of English conscience 
and liberality, where Ireland is unconcerned. The other day the 
British forces conquered the King of Candy A treaty was, on 



DAXIEL O'CONXELL, ESQ., M.P. 



27 



the 2nd of March last, signed between the British officers, the 
representatives of our King, on the one part, and the principal 
Candians, on the other. It is the charter by which the sovereignty 
of the state is vested in the crown ; it has been accepted and con- 
firmed by the Prince Regent, and is now law in the island of 
Ceylon. The fifth article of this treaty is in these words : — 

"The religion of Boodho, which is professed by the chiefs and by the 
inhabitants of these provinces, is declared inviolable, and its rites, 
ministers, and places of worship are to be MAINTAINED axd protected/' 

There are inviolability, maintenance, and protection, for the 
state religion of Boodhoo, and English conscience is not shocked. 
Here is the Mirth Avater, or incarnation of Yishnou, protected 
by the British government, maintained in all its attributes, and 
declared inviolable ; we shall have learned dissertations, printed 
at the British expense, showing his powers and glory ; prov- 
ing him to be the Godanna of one district, and the Folii of the 
Chinese ; and perhaps a controversy may arise again, whether 
he be not the identical Woden whom one class of the mongrel 
ancestry of England worshipped. 

Mark, too, that there is here no veto — no nomination by the 
crown talked of. The emancipation of the Candians is full and 
unqualified : and then we are told that conscience will prevent 
the full and unqualified emancipation of Catholic and unchristian 
Irishmen. 

Believe me, however, that your emancipation is not remote or 
uncertain. The history of the world is not over. A fortnight 
might place an Alexander on the throne of Napoleon : and as 
| his power is already overwhelming, I rejoice that he is of the 
! Greek Church, lest we should be put on our securities as to him. 

No ; the history of the world is not over. It is true that 
j legitimacy and autocracy, and all other invasions on popular 
| rights and free choice, are for a season triumphant, The title 
I of deliverer has become synonymous with a partitioner and 
i plunderer. Royal declarations are only public demonstrations 
of the pretences which cover purposes of guile of another descrip- 
tion. 

But the spirit, the genius of liberty survives. Man cannot, 
with the knowledge he has acquired, and the examples he be- 
holds, continue in slavery. The people cannot, even in despotic 
states, be despised ; but in a free state, like that of England, 
five millions cannot continue in thraldom. Who does not per- 
ceive how fast our multitudes increase — how rapidly our strength 



28 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



accumulates 2 See within the last twenty year3 how we have 
risen from a horde of helots to a nation. Even the union, which 
destroyed our country, increased our importance and our num- 
bers. England wants us, and may easily gain us. Let her act 
as ,she has done by the Candians ; let her leave inviolate the 
religion which the chiefs and the people of Ireland possess ; and 
we will, in return, support her by our unbroken? strength, and 
sustain her with our young blood, in every distress and through 
every peril ! 

Mr. O'Connell sat down cheered by most rapturous applause. 

On Wednesday, the 8th of September, Mr. O'Connell moved— at a; meeting of the 
" Catholic-Association" as it was called— for a committee of seven to go round the different 
parishes to collect subscriptions towards defraying the expenses of the deputation about 
to proceed to Rome on the " securities'' question. 

Mr. O'Connell himself, with Messrs. Mahon, M'Donnell, Evans, and Lyons, were appointe* 
to draw up a remonstrance to his Holiness the Pope. 

The clerical deputation consisted of His Grace the Most Rev. Dr. Murray, the Right Rev 
Dr. Murphy Gate Bishop of Cork), and Archdeacon Blake, the last named being now tha 
much respected and beloved Bishop of Dromore. & * 

On the 14th September appeared a letter from the Right Rev. Dr. Milner (in answer to 
Mr. O'Connell's allusions to him in a speech we have given some pages back), repeating 
his disclaimers of vetoistical inclinations. 

The following remonstrance to the Pope was drawn up by Mr. O'Connell and adopted by 
the Catholic body : — 

"TO HIS HOLINESS POPE PIUS VII. 

"THE HUMBLE ADDRESS AND REMONSTRANCE OF THE, ROMAN 
CATHOLICS OF IRELAND. 

"Most Holy Father — We, the Roman Catholic people of 
Ireland, most humbly approach your Holiness, imploring for 
five millions of faithful children, the apostolical benediction. 

" We desire, Most Holy Father, to address your Holiness in 
respectful and unreserved terms ; that so your Holiness may 
be perfectly informed of our fears, our desires, and our deter- 
minations. 

" We deem it unnecessary, Most Holy Father, to remind the 
Sovereign Pontiff of our Church, of our peculiar claims to his 
protection and support ; for we cannot, for a moment, imagine 
that your Holiness is unmindful of the constancy and devotion 
manifested towards the Holy See by the Roman Catholics of 
Ireland, in despite of the most sanguinary and unrelenting per- 
secution that ever aggrieved a Christian people. 

"We cannot, however, abstain from reminding our Most 
Holy Father, that although the persecution wliich we and our 
ancestors endured, was notoriously and avowedly inflicted upon 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



20 



us, on account of our adherence to, and connexion with, the 
Holy See ; nevertheless, the Eoman Catholics of Ireland never 
solicited the predecessors of your Holiness, at^any period of 
that persecution, to alter, in the slightest degree, that connexion, 
or make any modification of the existing discipline of our holy 
Church, to obtain for the Eoman Catholics of Ireland, the 
repeal or mitigation of those cruel laws which proscribed them. 

" With sentiments of most sincere sorrow, we have heard 
that, notwithstanding the uniform manifestations of our spiri- 
tual attachment to the Holy See, it has pleased your Holiness 
to favour a measure which would enable a Protestant govern- 
ment to control the appointment of our prelates ; against which 
the Catholic voice of Ireland has protested, and ever will pro- 
test with one accord. No spiritual grounds are alleged for the 
proposed alteration in our ecclesiastical system ; it is not pre- 
tended that it would advance the interests of religion, or im- 
prove the morality of the Catholic people of Ireland ; on the 
contrary, it is proposed in opposition to the well known and 
declared opinions of our spiritual guides, and is offered as an i 
exchange or barter for some temporal aid or concession ; it 
therefore becomes our duty, as Catholics and as subjects, to 
state, in most explicit terms, our sentiments upon it. 

" It is considered right to assure your Holiness, in the first 
instance, that although the penal laws, which were framed for 
the oppression of the Catholics of Ireland, have been consider- 
ably relaxed during the reign of our present most gracious so- 
vereign ; nevertheless, the hostility to our holy religion con- 
tinues to exist in full force ; and every artifice is practised, -and 
every inducement held out, to seduce the Irish Catholic from 
the practice and profession of his religion. Eewards are given 
to every Catholic clergyman who apostatizes from his faith ; 
public schools and hospitals are maintained, at great expense, 
in which hostility to the creed and character of Eoman Catho- 
lics constitutes the first principle of instruction ; commissioners 
are appointed to prevent Catholic institutions receiving any 
benefit from the donations of pious persons ; societies are es- 
tablished, under the favour of our rulers, for proselytizing the 
Catholic poor ; and bribes offered and given to Catholic parents, 
for the purchase of their children's faith ; at the same time, 
that every effort of bribery and corruption is exerted to influ- 
ence Eoman Catholic schoolmasters to seduce the Eoman Catho- 
lic children entrusted to their care, from an attachment to their 
creed. Every member of the legislature, every minister of the 



30 SELECT SPEECHES OP 

government, every judge of the land, every superior naval, mili- 
tary, or civil officer, and almost every individual in official sta- 
tion, is obliged to swear, and has actually sworn, in the following 
words, viz. : — * I do solemnly and sincerely, in the presence of 
God, profess, testify, and declare, that I do believe, that in the 
sacrament of the Lord's Supper, there is not any transubstan- 
tiation of the elements of bread and wine into the body and 
blood of Christ, at or after the consecration thereof, by any. 
person whatsoever ; and that the invocation or adoration of the 
Virgin Mary, or any other saint, and the Sacrifice of the Mass, 
as they are now used in the Church of Rome, are superstitious 
and idolatrous ; and I do solemnly, in the presence of God, 
profess, testify, and declare, that I do make this declaration, and 
every part thereof, in the plain and ordinary sense of the words 
read unto me, as they are commonly understood by English 
Protestants, without any evasion, equivocation, or mental reser- 
vation whatsoever, and without any dispensation already granted 
me for this purpose, by the Pope, or any authority or person 
whatsoever, or without any hope of any such dispensation from 
any person or authority whatsoever, or without thinking that I 
am or can be acquitted before God or man, or absolved of this 
declaration, or any part thereof, although the Pope, or any other 
person or persons, or power whatsoever, should dispense with or 
annul the same, or declare that it was null or void from the 
beginning.' 

"It is to persons who have taken these offensive oaths of hos- 
tility against our holy religion, that we are .now required, Most 
Holy Father to confide the selection and appointment of the 
prelates of our Church ; and thus, the efforts of persecution 
having been found unsuccessful, it is now sought to accomplish, 
by intrigue;.. the destruction of that Church, whose pre-eminent 
perfection has excited the jealousy and the hatred of our reli- 
gious opponents. 

" W e cannot suffer ourselves to suppose that your Holiness 
would knowingly sanction so pernicious a measure ; for, it is 
our decided conviction, that any such concession to our Pro- 
testant Prince, or to his Protestant ministers, of a right to in- 
terfere, directly or indirectly, in the appointment of our prelates, 
would inevitably destroy the Catholic religion in Ireland. Its 
first consequence would be, a general indignant revolt against 
the framers or favourers of the detested system, without regard 
to rank or station ; and it is not difficult to imagine that so la- 
mentable a breach would lead to such a state of distrust and 



DANIEL o'COXXELL, ESQ., 31. P. 



31 



dissatisfaction, as might end in the dissolution of that confiden- 
tial connexion, in spiritual concerns, which at present so hap- 
pily subsists between the Holy See and the Roman Catholics of 
Ireland. The prelates and priesthood would be shunned and 
despised ; the altars and confessionals would be deserted ; a 
state of irreligion and immorality would succeed in the place of 
the religious and moral conduct which at present distinguishes 
the people of Ireland ; public disorders and private misfortunes 
would follow, and our neglected Church would become an easy j 
prey to those who now labour for the extirpation of the Roman 
Catholic faith fi'om this nation. 

"We desire to assure your Holiness that the Roman Catholic 
laity of Ireland feel, towards their prelates and their priests, the 
most enthusiastic esteem and attachment ; they look up to them 
not merely as spiritual o-uides, but also as confidential friends 
and faithful advisers. The trials of persecution created a sys- 
tem of mutual affection and support, which enabled each to bear 
up against the severities of sanguinary laws. These mutual 
services are not forgotten ; the sentiments which they generated 
remain unchanged ; and, therefore, we never can consent that 
our pure and pious heirarchy should be contaminated by such 
a connexion, as must endanger their just influence, and render 
them objects of dislike and distrust among their faithful flocks. 

" These are some of the results expected by the favourers of 
the proposed measure, to follow its enactment ; but there are 
other objects also in their contemplation. They seek, and ar- \ 
dently desire, to destroy the spiritual authority of the Holy See 
in this country ; and we are confident that their expectations j j 
would be ultimately fulfilled, if they could establish the desired If 
revolution in our ecclesiastical system ; because experience has 
taught us, that wherever any interference of the ministers of 
the British crown has been allowed, they have ultimately suc- 
ceeded in obtaining absolute and exclusive control. 

(i Your Holiness must be, sensible of the injustice of the im- 
putations directed against our venerable hierarchy, by those 
persons who express a desire to provide further securities for . 
their peaceable and loyal conduct. Their correspondence with 
the Holy See is, of course, open to the inspection of your Holi- 
ness ; and we entertain no doubt but they may, with perfect 
safety to their political characters, challenge the most scrutinize \ 
ing and jealous reference to the communications which consti- 
tute that correspondence. Again, their conduct -at home is 
watched with more than common vigilance ; the most trilling 



32 SELECT SPEECHES OP 

instance of disaffection would be gladly exposed, and yet their 
characters not only remain unimpeached, but the highest offi- 
cers of the crown resident in this island have borne testimony 
to their loyalty, and to their laudable exercise of that influence 
which their station and conduct had obtained for them, over 
their respective flocks. The ministers of the crown are already 
invested with ample powers to correct any subject or stranger 
who may disobey the laws ; and no instance has occurred in 
this country, of any man, of any station, having escaped pun- 
ishment, in consequence of the insufficiency of the existing laws 
to provide for his correction. 

" Neither should it be forgotten that our venerable prelates 
are bound, by most solemn oaths, to observe strictly loyal and 
peaceable conduct ; of which oaths we annex copies hereunto, 
and humbly submit them to the inspection and consideration of 
your Holiness. And we are, therefore, confident that this de- 
mand for further securities is not founded upon any apprehen- 
sion of the existence of a necessity for them ; but that it has 
originated solely from a desire to enable the enemies of our 
holy religion, by the admission of such interference and en- 
croachments, to accomplish the destruction of a Church which 
they have so long ineffectually assailed. 

" We feel that we should be wanting in the practice of that 
candour, which it is our pride to profess, were we not further to 
inform your Holiness that we have ever considered our claims 
for political emancipation to be founded upon principles of civil 
policy. We seek to obtain from our government nothing more 
than the restoration of temporal rights ; and must, most hum- 
bly, but most firmly, protest against the interference of your 
Holiness, or any other foreign prelate, state, or potentate, in the 
control of our temporal conduct, or in the arrangement of our 
political concerns. 

" We, therefore, deem it unnecessary, Most Holy Father, to 
state to your Holiness the manifold objections of a political 
nature which we feel towards the proposed measure. We have 
confined ourselves, in this memorial, to the recapitulation of 
objections, founded upon spiritual considerations ; because, as 
on the one hand we refuse to submit our religious concerns to 
the control of our temporal chief ; so, on the other hand, we 
cannot admit any right, on the part of the Holy See, to inves- 
tigate our political principles, or to direct our political conduct ; 
it being our earnest desire and fixed determination to conform, 
at all times, and under all circumstances, to the injunctions of 



DAXIEL O'CONXELL, ESQ., M.P. 



35 



that sacred ordinance which teaches us to distinguish between 
spiritual and temporal authority, giving unto Caesar those things 
which belong to Caesar, and unto God those things which belong 
to God. 

" Thus, then, Most Holy Father, it appears — while this ob- 
noxious measure is opposed by every order of our hierarchy, 
that we, for whose relief it purports to provide, feel equally 
ardent and determined in our resistance to it : solemnly de- 
claring, as we now do, that we would prefer the perpetuation of 
our present degraded state in the empire, to any such barter, 
or exchange, or compromise of our religious fidelity and perse- 
verance. 

" We, therefore, implore your Holiness not to sanction a mea- 
sure so obnoxious to the most faithful and disinterestedly /-at- 
tached portion of the universal flock. Our hostility is founded 
on experience and observation ; whereas, the remote situation 
of your Holiness renders it necessary that the Holy See should 
rely upon the representations of others, who may have been 
interested in the practice of delusion or deceit ; for the Roman 
Catholics of Ireland never can believe, that their revered pon- 
tiff, who had endured so much of suffering in maintenance of 
his spiritual station, would, knowingly and intentionally, invade 
or oppress the conscientious feelings of a Catholic people, who 
had endured nearly three centuries of persecution, in conse- 
quence of their devotion to the same religious system. 

u If this our determination be erroneous, we should regret 
that we and our ancestors had not long since discovered the 
error ; as the Catholics of Ireland could, by making such sacri- 
fices, have already obtained relief from the penal code which 
oppressed them. But, we do not lament our perseverance ; on 
the contrary, we are confirmed in our conviction, that a con- 
scientious adherence to the same course will ultimately obtain 
the approval of the Holy See, and ensure the admiration of 
every faithful member of the Christian Church. 

" If it shall please our temporal rulers to impose this obnox- 
ious regulation upon us, we must bow down our heads before 
the ordinance of the All-Seeing Providence ; and, humbly con- 
fiding in his merciful protection, meet this new trial with the 
same religious spirit as Has enabled us to survive every similar 
persecuting provisions. Grievously, indeed, would we lament, 
if our enemies should succeed in alienating the mind of your 
Holiness from so many millions of faithful children. Should 
it, however, unhappily appear that the influence of our oppo- 

VOL. II c 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



cents is more powerful than the prayers of such a people, we 
would still proceed in the course which practice and persecu- 
tion have tried and proved. 

" We will not, however, anticipate so calamitous and so por- 
tentous a determination on the part of your Holiness ; we will 
rather cherish our accustomed confidence in the Holy See, and 
resting on the benign Providence of the Divine Founder of our 
faith, we will look forward to such a determination on the part 
of your Holiness, as will allay our religious anxieties ; preserve, 
undisturbed, the peace of a Church enthusiastically devoted to 
its spiritual chief; and thereby perpetuate, by indissoluble 
bonds, the spiritual connexion which has been so long main- 
tained between the See of Rome and the Eoman Catholics of 
Ireland. 

" For these purposes, and with these views, we lay this our 
humble address and remonstrance at the feet of your Holiness, 
praying a favourable consideration ; and again imploring the 
apostolical benediction. 

" Thomas Esmonde, Chairman. 
" Edward Hay, Secretary. 
"I certify that the above address and remonstrance was 
framed by the Association of the Roman Catholics of Ireland, 
pursuant to the directions of the aggregate meeting, he]d on 
| Tuesday, the 29th day of August last. 

"Nicholas Mahon, 

a Chairman of the Association. 
"Dublin, September 16th, 1815." 

Ths foregoing address was duly forwarded to Rome ; but after a period of vexatious dolays 
and inconclusive negociations, the fact came to be known that it would not be received 
there officially ; a3 that would be taken to be a formal recognition of the right of lay inter- 
ference in a matter held by many authorities to be exclusively of an ecclesiastical nature. 

There is nothing that need delay us in the records of the popular struggle during the 
remainder of 1815, or the early part of the succeeding year. 

In January, indeed, of that year, the "seceders," as the soi-disant aristocratic party of 
the Catholics were generally designated, showed some activity in giving trouble; and in 
that and the following month, the strange and discouraging spectacle was more than once 
presented to the Irish public, of two distinct meetings of Catholics in the metropolis ; the 
ceceders at Lord Trimleston's house ; and the " Catholic Association," at Fitzpatrick's, in 
Capel street ; the first resolving to entrust their " enxancipation-with-teairiiie^ petition to 
Mr. Grattan in the Commons ; the other equally resolving to entrust their "-unconditional 
emancipation" petition to Sir H. Parnell. Both chose the same person in the Lords- 
lord Donoughmore— to present their respective petitions in the upper house. 

On Tuesday* 5th March, 1816, an aggregate meeting of the Catholics took place in the 
present Church of St. Teresa, Clarendon-street. The following resolutions passed. 

" Resolved — That the Most Rev. and Right Rev. the Catholic 
prelates of Ireland, at a meeting held by thera in the city of Dublin, 



DANIEL O'COXNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



35 



on the 23rd and 24th of August, 1S15, did unanimously enter into a 
resolution in the following* words : — 

" ' That it is our decided and conscientious conviction that any power 
granted to the •■ government of Great Britain, of interfering, directly 
or indirectly, in the appointment of Bishops for the Roman Catholic 
Church in Ireland, must essentially injure, and may eventually subvert 
the Roman Catholic religion in this country/ 

" Resolved — That with the conviction deeply and unalterably im- 
pressed upon our minds of the purity and sincerity of the venerated 
prelates who adopted the foregoing resolution, and of the plain truth 
a ad certainty of the conclusion which they have thus announced, we 
should consider ourselves as betraying the dearest interests of oiu 
religion, and of our country, did we not most unequivocally declare, 
that we will, at all times, and under all circumstances, depre- 
cate and oppose, by every means that the laws have left us, any such 
interference as the Catholic prelates and people have so often and so 
emphatically condemned. 

" Resolved — That the sole pursuit of the Catholic people of Ire- 
land being liberty — civil as well as religious — we should deem ourselves 
base and degraded, were we to purchase any advantages for ourselves, 
by consenting to any arrangement, which, by increasing the undue in- 
fluence of his majesty's ministers, must injure the civil liberty of our 
fellow-subjects, of every religious denomination. 

" Resolved— That we re-adopt the resolution of the 13th March, 
1806, that the holdings of meetings at any private house, for the gene- 
ral concerns of the Catholic body, is unfavourable to the freedom of 
discussion, and inadequate to the collection of public sentiment. 

" That any meeting convened for the consideration of Catholic 
affairs, and involving the interests of the body at large, brought about 
by private invitation and partial selection, must be injurious to the 
interests of the Catholics of Ireland." 

The Chairman opened the proceedings by lamenting the conduct of the seceders, and 
condemning the vetoistical tendency of the petition which emanated from them. He 
expressed a hope that they "would see the error of their ways, and th&t the division among 
the Catholics being healed, all would once more unite their efforts in the cause. He also 
recommended immediate endeavours to conciliate the Protestants. 

Mr. O'Connell said that he was prepared to do every thing for 
conciliation, except surrendering the venerable religion of his fathers 
and of his country. 

It was not his wish to attack the private feelings of the sece- 
ders, nor his desire to say anything of them as individuals. But 
he would denounce them as a body, and would prove them the 
enemies of their religion, their country, and their God ! 

He then read several resolutions of the Catholic Board, and 
of various aggregate Catholic meetings, at which the Earl of 
Fingal and several others of the " seceders" had presided and 
attended — resolutions strongly declaring their hostility to the 



36 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



measure of the veto. He drew attention to one in particular, 
moved by Lord Killeen, and seconded by Lord Trimleston (then 
Mr. Barnewall), which declared that they could not offer, in sin- 
cerity, any species whatsoever of " security," nor admit any 
arrangement or interference of the crown in matters touching 
their religion, such interference being, in their opinions, only 
an exchange of one species of servitude for another. 

Yet (said he), these noble lords now tender the veto to the 
legislature ! 

What is the meaning or interpretation to be put upon this 
resolution, other than that given by the plain and obvious sig- 
nification of the words ? Were these noble lords then sincere, 
or are they sincere now ? Do they mean to gladden the hearts 
of our enemies and persecutors, by fostering, in their shameful 
inconsistency, the belief that there is mental reservation in the 
minds of Catholics ! 

So far as to the people — but how do they stand with regard 
to the prelates ? 

The prelates have declared, that any interference of the 
Crown must injure, and might subvert their religion. This is 
their solemn and emphatic declaration. And now the seceders 
presume to assert that our venerated prelates are insincere ! and 
that, in the name of the Holy Ghost, they have published a 
falsehood to the world ! ! ! 

I restrain my feelings, my natural feelings at this most daring 
presumption of theirs, and I limit myself to the tame and 
measured phrase that they, these seceders, are thus clearly acting 
inconsistently with the declaration of the hierarchy, and what is 
of infinitely less importance, with their own conduct ! 

I oppose the measures of the seceders, because they are preg- 
nant with the worst mischief. I would wish to hear any man 
explain their conduct, and justify, if it can be justified, the dis- 
graceful and slavish sentiment which they have avowed. 

The speaker then proceeded to comment, in considerable detail, upon all the circum 
stances connected with the getting up of the petition of the seceding party, and upon various 
other matters having relation to the subject of his preceding observations. 

Before concluding, he farther took occasion to withdraw, with many terms of respect 
and compliment, all the expressions which had fallen from him at a former meeting, with 
reference to the Right Rev. Dr. Milner, declaring that he had since learned that his lord- 
ship was steadily adverse to the veto, and had lately opposed it at the Court of Rome, with 
all his well-known energy and ability. 

The year 1816 closed, without any formal condemnation of the veto by the head of the 
Catholic church, and indeed, with not a few indications of a disposition at the court of 
Rome, to treat the proposition with more tolerance than had been dreamed of. The friend- 
ship and support of England were then held to be matters of too*reat value not to tuivo 



DANIEL o'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



every possible effort and sacrifice made to retain them. Like the high irregular waves of ' 
the sea, prevailing alter the tempest has subsided, the surface of European society yet up- ! 
heaved ominously and wildly upon every side, distracting the timid mind with a thousand 
fears and gloomy imaginings, and impelling it to any expedient that gave a chance of tem- 
porary safety. 

At home, the voice of Ireland had, indeed, spoken out by the mouths of the majority 0/ 
her hierarchy, and the entire of the second order of clergy, with the unanimous concur- 
rence of the people. So far the question might have been considered closed and deter- 
mined. But the resolves of a nation,c»ruled and legislated for by strangers, have the:" j 
strength and effect only in the momentary strength and concentration of the popular mind , 
and any of the thousand influences that can be brought to bear on the latter for the pur 
pose of division and distraction, will, if successful, neutralize and destroy the value of what 
has been previously accomplished. 

And there were sadly depressing causes at work in Ireland ! . The -miserable policy of 
England (policy, alas little departed from to this present hour) had long before established 
the conviction that any concession, any grace from her, was only to be won under the 
pressure of adverse circumstances. * Hope of any spontaneous justice, or free-will " be7ie- 
valence" on her part, there was none. The vicissitudes of the sanguinary war, which had 
been for so many years waging, appeared to offer the only substantial chance for a real 
alleviation of Irish miseries, a real attention to Irish claims. . So long, then, as war existed, 
so long there appeared some chance for Ireland. 

The Irish were not to blame for this state of things. It was not their fault that the 
interests and mutual feelings of two islands, neighbouring each other, forming parts of the 
same empire, and apparently designed by nature to be in friendly alliance, were in anta- 
gonism. Supplications without number, couched in the moat pacific, most calmly reason- 
ing, most conciliatory language, had gone forth from them, to the controllers of their des- 
tinies in England. The answers had been in insulting words of refusal, and acts of flagitious 
'tyranny. Little wonder then, that England's difficulties should have been looked to with 
a gloomy hope. 

But the Irish looked for nothing more than the inevitable concessions of just claims by 
England in her difficulty. In the sourrd heart of the nation there was no desire for French 
alliance. France, still reeking with the filthy mire of her infidelity, and darkly crimsoned 
with the stale and unexpiated blood of her revolutionary massacres, was not the compa- 
nion to whom enfranchised Ireland would have held out the hand. Religion and morality 
— the only sure groundwork for social order and national prosperity— must have suffered 
from the connexion and therefore, Ireland would have none of it — utterly abhorred it even 
in idea ! 

Where the Catholic party hoped, the Orange party feared and~trembled. They were, of 
course, equally aware of the unfailing coincidence of English difficulty and concession, and 
had alternated between extravagant joy and extravagant trepidation, according as the 
arms of the allies, or those of the French emperor, had prospered in the progress of the 
struggle. Their exultation at Napoleon's fall, in 1814, had been violent, but speedily dashed 
and reversed by his sudden astounding recovery of his throne and power, in the beginning 
of the succeeding year. Where they exulted, the Catholics grieved ; .where they desponded 
the Catholics began to hope. 

At length the final reversal came to the hopes of the Catholics, that England might be 
compelled by disaster at length to listen to the voice of justice, and concede their rights. 
Waterloo was fought, Napoleon a prisoner, France subdued, and the alliance most blasphe- 
mously styled " Holy !" was let loose upon civilization, and mankind's rights, to work its 
devilish will. England was in her palmiest hour of triumph, and, as a necessary conse- 
quence, her heart was harder than ever towards poor Ireland. 

The delight and triumph of the Irish Orangemen may be imagined, but "could scarcely 
oe described in words. All danger seemed over— all hope, all chance shut to the Catholics. 
Toryism— cruel, strong -hearted, insolent Toryism, was rampant, not only in those countries, 
but all over prostrate Europe. Their ascendancy they believed to have got a new lease 



33 



SELECT SPEECHES Ob* 



a lease' rfrcfst [lively for another century — full licence to plunder,, oppress and trample upon 
their unhappy fellow-Christians, and fellow-countrymen. 

As their scale went up. that of the Catholics, of course, went down — down to the very 
ground. Spirit, hope, life — all seemed quenched — gone out for ever among the so lately 
well organised and energetic Catholic "body. 

Mr. O'Connell always spoke of this period as one of the most trying of his eventfuljife 
By no kind of means, by no manner of exertion, and he did look about for means, and did 
use a thousand exertions, could he arouse the Catholics to action, or even to a defensive 
position. For more than two years a moral lethargy, a faint-hearted and hopeless apathy 
hung over the country, and, with the exception of himself, scarce any one was in the field 
for Ireland. 

To such an extent did this helplessness and inactivity prevail, that even the rent of' the 
rooms in Capel- street, tenanted by the Catholics for the punmes of their meetings, -was 
unpaid, until Mr. O'Connell put his hand in his own pocket for the purpose, i Resigning 
them as too expensive, he took smaller rooms in Crow-street, and for a long time discharged 
all expenses connected with them, and with all that remained of the " working" of the 
Catholic cause. 

During this period of depression, had the fell designs of the British minister against the 
independeisee of the Catholic church in Ireland, been actively pushed, there is much rea- 
son to helieve they would have been successful. But where human help failed, Divine 
Providence interposed to save us. In the high Hushed pride of her extraordinary successes 
England, as it were, forgot Ireland, and the schemes for corrupting , the Irish mind and 
heart, which had seemed so important, while a chance remained of foreign interference. 
Or, if she remembered these matters, the idea appeared ridiculous of going to any trouble 
to delude and seduce a people absolutely, and as she thought hopelessly and irremediably 
beneath her feet. 

The "veto" was therefore abandoned— abandoned at the moment when the chances of 
forcing it on Ireland were strongest— abandoned when the Catholicism for which our 
fathers suffered and died, seemed nast human help, and "the gates of hell" for a moment 
seemed about to "prevail." 

Why should we then despond in this our present crisis of Catholicism ? 

We have not alluded to Mr. O'Connell's professional career as yet this volume, as no 
reports, except of the most meagre and scanty description, are to be found of his bar 
speeches, during the interval it embraces. His advance in the profession was great, and 
his income, term after term, and circuit after circuit, greatly increasing, with a rapidity 
entirely unprecedented. Unfortunately, however, for this work, the reports of many and 
many a powerful law argument, and many an effective address to juries, are so meagre 
and imperfect, that it would be only a waste of the reader's time to give them in the pre- 
sent collection. Such of his forensic efforts, however, as have been recorded with any 
appearance of accuracy or due care, will, as heretofore, be found in our pages. 



COLLISION WITH THE VETOISTS. 

In January, 1S17, Mr. O'Connell gave every assistance in his pewer to an abortive attempt 
made in Dublin to get up a society of " Friends of Reform in Parliament." It was com- 
posed of Protestants and Catholics, and, though its numbers were very limited, and its 
duration did not extend beyond a few meetings and dinners, it was so far valuable as 
being the first occasion since the Union, when Irishmen of different creeds had associated 
en something like terms of equality in one body. 

Early in February occurred a collision with the vetoists, or " seceders. "Fronting by the 
general apathj we have mentioned as prevailing in the popular mind, this miserable little 



DANIEL OOOSSSLL, ESQ., M.P. 



39 



eoterie had teen "busy in their small way, meeting, speechifying to each other, resolving 
and labouring with infinite pains to show the minister how anxious they were to subserve 
his hostility to Irish ecclesiastical independence, if he would only renew and carry on 
i»is attacks with his pristine activity 

The following notification from them appeared in the Dublin papers, at the end of Janu- 
ary — 

** It is the intention of the gentlemen who have called the meeting of the 4th of February 
next, while they adhere strictly to the principles contained in their petition of last year 
(*'. e. the seceders' petition entrusted to Mr. Grattan), to evince, by the measure which they 
intend to propose to the meeting, a desire that the general feeling of the Roman Catholic 
body may, as far as possible, be attended to! in any 'arrangements that may event ually 
acc impany a bill of relief to the Catholics of Ireland. 

hxis amusing to note the coolness with which this little knot of trimmers announce 
their gracious desire to have some consideration for the opinions of the rest of Ireland. 

The meeting was advertised for the day above stated, and to be held at No. 50, Eccles- 
street. Mr. 0*Connell and the leading gentlemen of the popular movement determined 
that it should not be one of a hole and corner description ; and accordingly he, with seve- 
ral of his colleagues, attended at the time and place named. They were stopped in the ha! 1 
by a servant boy, who showed them a resolution signed by Lord Southwell and Sir Edward 
Bellew, to the effect that the meeting was confined to those who had been parties to 
sending a Catholic petition to Mr. Grattan in the preceding year. But, as the public 
advertisement had announced no such reservation, they refused to be bound by this private 
arrangement, and accordingly proceeded up stairs. 

Nicholas Mahon opened the battery on the astounded vetoists assembled in scanty num- 
bers up stairs. He said he attended in the assertion of his right as a Catholic, to attend 
to what was his individual concern, as well as that of the body at large, and therefore 
would remain. 

Lord Southwell referred to the terms of the notice in the hall, and " hoped gentlemen 
would withdraw." 

Mr. 0*Connell said, he for one would certainly not do so. He entirely denied the right 
of any portion of the Catholic body to form themselves into a privileged class, or an Orange 
lodge, out of which they coald exclude any other Catholic looking for emancipation. 

Besides, he said, he had come there that day in the perfect spirit of conciliation, and to 
make propositions that might tend to combine the entire Catholic body in one great exer- 
tion. The propositions were so reasonable that nothing could resist them, but a deter- 
mination to dissension, or for the veto. 

There was a long consultation between Lord Southwell, Sir E. Bellew, and his brother, 
Counsellor Bellew. At last Lord Southwell being moved to the chair, 

Sir Edward Bellew, disclaiming personal disrespect, moved to adjourn, as persons not 
summoned were present. Mr. O'Conneil opposed the motion, and after some time, suc- 
ceeded in getting the motion withdrawn. 

Sir Edward next moved two resolutions drawn up by his brother : the one calling on Mr, 
Grattan to move on their petition of the last year, and the other expressly recognizing the 
right of the legislature to make a law controlling the doctrine and discipline of the Catholic 
Church, but praying of them not to infringe either. 

These resolutions were seconded by Randall M'Donnell, Esq., and opposed in strong 
terms. 

Mr. O'Conneil next spoke. The following is the newspaper extract, given oy autho- 
rity : — 

"He first pointed out the weakness and imbecility of the Catholic cause jxst year, which 
he traced to division and dissension in the Catholic body. . This was freely and fully 
admitted. 

4i He then adverted to the 1 reasons' by which the 1 seceders' had last year justficd their 
division. First, 'intemperance: He asserted that there was now not a shadow of intem- 
erance. This, too, was admitted on all hands. 



40 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



"Secondly — l the introduction of extraneous topics.' He asserted that all extraneous 
topics had then been abandoned ; and this also was admitted. 

Thirdly — 1 taking away the petition from Mr. Grattan.' This point he offered to con- 
cede. It could easily be done without interfering with the petition in Sir Henry Parrtcll's 
hands. Another petition may be instantly prepared to be given to Mr. Grattan, and that 
petition Mr. O'Connell offered to sign, if it excluded the veto 

"Fourthly — l the want of any offer of conciliation, cr arrangement in the petitions of the 
people.' Even this had been obviated. The people this year had adopted a petition 
already signed by Lord Fingal and Lord Southwell, Sir Edward Bellew, and others. And 
they had actually given up the point of simple Repeal, by acceding to the arrangement 
which was short of the veto — domestic nomination 
^These were all the alleged causes of dissension and division. The popular party had 
conceded all, or were ready to concede all of them — and Mr. O'Connell further offered to 
make any other concession which could produce unanimity— anything connected wUli an 
expressed or implied assent to any vetoistical measure alwaj s excepted. 

" He then called on the seceders to say, whether they would do anything, or take any 
one step for unanimity ; and to this question, though put_repeatedly, he could get no 
reply. 

" He lastly showed, that before this meeting, there was perfect unanimity ; and if the 
seceders did not, by now coming forward, take away from the Catholic cause the strength 
which unanimity would otherwise give it, there was, in the present state of affairs, the 
greatest likelihood of success, unless the cause was retarded and embarrassed by conflict- 
ing petitions, and discordant petitioners. 

He concluded by entreating, at all events, further deliberation, and an adjournment for 
ttiiee or four days, with the appointment of a committee, to consist of Sir E. Bellew, 
Randal M'Donnell, James Connolly, and Nicholas Mahon, Esqrs., who could meet in the 
meantime from day to day, and consider Whether there were any means of reconciling all 
parties in the Catholic body, and procuring unanimity. 

"Mr. James Connolly proposed, antf Counsellor Howley seconded an adjournment 
accordingly, and Mr. R. M'Donnell assented to it, saying that the meeting would certainly 
be inexcusab'e with the country, if it did not, at least, make an attempt at conciliation. 

" The proposition, however, was rejected by fourteen to four. % Mr. O'Connell, Mr. Mahon, 
Mr. M'Laughlin (Cornelius), Mr. O'Kelly, and the other popular Catholics, were excluded 
from the vote by the Chairman, on the ground of their not being parties summoned. The 
minority were Messrs. M'Donnell, Connolly, Howley, and Phelan. The majority are 
described as seven barristers, (or ' counsellors'), of whom two were pensioners, viz., Bellew 
and Lynch (Sir Edward Bellew), two persons totally unknown, and three very young men 
equally unknown ; ' and thus (continues the report we have extracted from) was totally 
rejected all affectation of wishing to strengthen the Catholic cause by unanimity, or of 
concealing any longer the ardent desire for a veto,' 

" Mr. CTConnell then rose and said, that he had done his duty. He had exerted every 
faculty of his mind, and every good feeling of his heart, to promote unanimity. He haJ 
taken away all pretext— all colour or shadow of excuse from the few who had set them- 
selves up in opposition to the Catholic body, and had made them, by their own act, demon- 
strate that they only sought for dissension and distraction, and that they had no other 
ultimate object but to increase the corrupt influence of the ministry, at the expense of 
the religion and liberty of Ireland 1 

" He would no longer consent to remain among them ; but he would announce to them 
this undoubted truth, that their puny efforts for a veto were poor and impotent, and 
would be blasted by the voice of the Catholic clergy and people of Ireland, whose zealous, 
honest, and conscientious opposition to that measure, only accumulated as the attempt to 
betray them appeared more manifest. It was ridiculous to expect success for lhat measure, 
fioin such miserable support, against the universal voice of Ireland. 

" Mr. O'Connell and the Other gentlemen of the popular party then withdrew. 1 

A separate statement of this affair was, a few days afterwards, put forward by Mr. Bellew, 



DANIEL o'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



41 



chiefly giving his own speeches on the occasion in fuller detail, and varying in some unim- 
portant particulars from the preceding. There was, however, no impeachment of the 
main facts as already given. 

Notwithstanding the refusal of the " seceders" to do their part in the work ot concilia- 
tion, a 11 conciliating committee" of Catholics was formed, to endeavour to keep matters 
in the right channel, and atrthe same time suggest any concessions compatible with pre- 
serving Catholic independence. 

This body issued a circular, inviting the co-operation of every Catholic. It was drawn 
up In the spirit of Mr. O'Connell's remarks to the Eccles.-street coterie ; repudiating the 
veto, securities, &c, &c, as matters against which the nation had pronounced; and sug- 
gest ing as follows : — 

" There is an arrangement which would take away all pretext of argument for our ene- 
mies, and which has already been sanctioned by our prelates, and received the full appro* 
bation of the people— it is that of domestic nomination." 

Under this title was meant the system prevailing at the present day, when the Catholic 
bishops of Ireland are selected by the Pope out of a list or lists forwarded to him from tho 
prelates of the province and the clergy of the vacant diocese. It had come practically into 
operation in the recent election of as excellent a bishop, and as true a patriot as ever lived 
—the late Right Rev. Dr. Kernan, Bishop of Clogher. 

A short speech of Mr. O'Connell's, at one of the first meetings of the Conciliating 
Committee," gives a striking view of the difficulties and perils besetting the Catholics at 
this time : — 

" Mr. O'Connell said he rose for the purpose of moving to 
postpone the aggregate meeting from Friday next (the 28th 
February, 1817), to a future day. 

There were many reasons which rendered this postponement 
expedient, perhaps necessary ; the principal one was the threa- 
tened suspension of the habeas corpus act. It was not yet 
known whether Ireland was or was not included, or to be in- 
cluded within the effect of such suspension ; if it were, then it 
appeared to him that the best course to pursue would be to 
withdraw the Catholic petition altogether, and to abandon all 
claims for legislative relief, until the constitutional protection 
from unjust imprisonment should again be available. There 
was no pusillanimity in this advice, and the only credit he 
claimed with his oppressed countrymen was, that of being capa- 
ble of giving them advice of such a tendency. 

If it were deemed right to offer up a victim to that rancorous 
and malignant hatred which the bigots in Ireland cherished 
against those who had exerted themselves for Catholic freedom, he 
for one was perfectly ready to be that victim ; but at present it 
struck him, that one example of unjust suffering by a Catholic, 
would only encourage the bigots amongst their enemies, and the 
venal amongst themselves, and, perhaps, prevent many honest 
but more cautious persons from ever coming forward. 

Besides the suspension of the habeas corpus act, which would 
leave the personal liberty of every individual in the land at the 



42 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



merey of the minister of the day, whoever he may be, appeared 
to him an evil of such, tremendous magnitude that all lesser 
evils should give place to it ; and, in the contemplation of so 
monstrous a calamity, they should forget their individual grie- 
vances. As long, therefore, as that vital part of the constitution 
should remain suspended, he, for one, would most earnestly re- 
commend the suspension of all meetings, petitions, and applica- 
tions to the legislature. 

There was another point of view in which he deemed this re- 
laxation from petition necessary. When the habeas corpus act 
shall be suspended, the minister might take up his threatened 
veto bill, under the name of an emancipation bill. He might 
seek to enlarge his own influence upon the ruins of the Catholic 
Church in Ireland, under the name of emancipation. If any 
man dared to call the people together to remonstrate against 
the veto — if any attempt were made to resist it by the expres- 
sion of public indignation, would it not be competent for per- 
sons in power to interrupt the organs of the public sentiment, 
and to immure them in prison for as long as they might think 
fit. Thus, while the opponents of the veto were silenced by the 
hand of authority, and sent, perhaps, into solitary confinement, 
to expiate in the long and heavy hours of seclusion, their crimi- 
nal fidelity to the ancient faith of Ireland, the veto might be 
enacted ; as if in pursuance of their own petition. To obviate 
those fearful possibilities, it would be best to withdraw the peti- 
tion, and officially to inform the legislature that all we desired 
for the present was, to be left in a state of oblivion ! 

He concluded by saying he would move a postponement until 
Tuesday next ; by which day it would be known whether the 
present protection of the law would remain, or be taken away. 
That result would enable the Catholics to determine on their 
course of proceedings. 

What a state of things ! A whole people likely to have to petition, not for a positive 
boon — not for an act of relief, but to be let alone ! And yet the only thing at all novel in 
the circumstances would have been, that any attention should be given to their humble 
supplications ! 

The next post relieved the Catholics of this fear ; Lord Sidmouth expressly declaring in 
ihe House of Lords, when moving the first reading of the habeas corpus suspension act, 
that there were no circumstances requiring that its operation should be extended to Ire- 
land. 

But, out of one trouble or difficulty, the Catholics were a long way from being at ease 
or in safety. The Irish vetoists were as hard at work, or harder than ever. Both Mr. 
Grattan and Sir Henry Parnell declared openly and unreservedly for the veto ; and at the 
same moment an alarming letter from the Rev. Richard Hayes, agent for the antf -vetoists 
at Rome, was received, detailing intrigues in support of the measure which threatened to 
be successful with the authorities there. 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ.,, M.P. 



±3 



The following is an abstract of this long and deeply-interesting letter : — 
It commences with stating that the hopes of the vetoistical party at Rome, with Car- 
dinal Gonsahi at their head, had been revived by the coming of " young Wyse, late of 
Waterford, and a Counsellor Ball;" that "these youths had repeated to the cardinal, to 
the Pope, to Cardinal Litta, and other officials, that ' all the property, education, and 
respectability of the Catholics of Ireland were favourable to the veto ; that the clergy 
were secretly inclined to it, but were overruled by the mob,' &c, &c. 

. It is true that Cardinal Litta now abhors the veto more, if possible, than any Catho- 
lic in Ireland ; and the Pope is resolved to take no step without his advice ; yet you may 
judge of the intrigue, when the miserable farce of. these silly boys is given the importance 
of a regular diplomatic mission." 

The letter then went on to complain of*the stoppage and interruption of his correspon- 
dence with Ireland, in its passage through different countries: — 44 What a combination of 
misfortunes— Italian villany, French tyranny, British corruption, vetoistical calumny, and, 
more than all. apparent Irish neglect, have conspired to throw your affairs into the utmost 
difficulty and danger. Now or never a more powerful effort should be made in Ireland, 
or the infernal veto, with all its tribe of evils, religious and political, will sink the wretched 
country of cur birth and dearest affections, lower than she has been even in the periods cf 
bloody persecution !" 

The writer concluded by requesting to have two coaajutors sent to him : Dr. Dromgoole 
and the Rev. Mr. M'Auley. 

Mr. O'Connell postponed the consideration of this important document until after the 
approaching aggregate meeting. 

On Thursday, March the 6th, this meeting took place. The following were the resolu- 
tions adopted ■ 

" Resolved — That we duly appreciate the value of unanimity 
amongst the Catholics, and approve of the measures lately resorted to, 
in order to produce that desirable result. But we cannot recognize 
any basis for such unanimity, save such as shall exclude any species of 
vetoistical arrangement whatever. 

" Resolved— That the people of Ireland, in former times, sustained 
the loss not only of civil liberty, but of their properties, and many of 
them their lives, rather than relinquish the faith and discipline of the 
ancient Catholic Church of Ireland ; and that we, their descendants, 
are equally attached to that faith and discipline, and equally deter- 
mined to adhere thereto, notwithstanding any temporal disadvantages 
penalties, pains, or privations. 

"Resolved — That the Catholic prelates of Ireland, assembled in 
solemn synod, did unanimously enter into the following resolution — 
' That it is our decided and conscientious conviction, that any power 
granted to the Crown of Great Britain, of interfering directly or indi- 
rectly in the appointment of bishops for the Roman Catholic Church 
in Ireland, must essentially injure, and may eventually subvert, the 
Roman Catholic religion in this country.' " 

Upon the following resolution being read : — 

" Resolved — That we should not receive, as a boon, any portion of 
civil liberty, accompanied by that which the Catholic prelates and peo- 
ple of Ireland have condemned as essentially injurious, and probably 
destructive to our religion ; and we do solemnly declare, that we infi- 
nitely prefer our present situation in the state, to any emancipation 
which may be directly or indirectly coupled with the veto 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



Mr. Woulfe (late Chief Baron), rose and made a very honourable retractation of his own 
opinions in favour of the veto ; and commented sharply upon the conduct of the secedcrs. 
On the fifth resolution, viz. :— 

" That the concurrence of all classes of Catholics in the measure of 
domestic nomination, ought to prevail unanimously amongst ourselves, 
and to obviate the alarms, however unfounded, of the enemies of our 
eirancipation 

Mr. O'Connell requested, before it was put, that Mr. Grattan' s late letter should be read ; 
which being done, he addressed the meeting, recommending that an answer should be 
returned, distinct, emphatic, and unmistakeable ; repudiating all species of veto. He then 
proceeded to explain away a mistake of Mr. Woulfe's. Domestic nomination was not a 
now suggestion, but a return to the ancient practice of the Catholic Church. He concluded 
vrith an earnest appeal to the Catholics, to imitate their enemies in unanimity, and ulti - 
mate success would be theirs. 

Letters were accordingly addressed, not only to Mr. Grattan, but to the other chief par- 
liamentary advocates of the Catholic cause, conveying the spirit of these resolutions. Mr. 
Grattan returned a simple acknowledgment of receipt. Lord Donoughmore, on the con- 
trary, expressed his warm concurrence with the sentiments of the majority of the Irish 
nation ; and his entire abhorrence of any arrangement that would give the British minister 
more power of corruption than he already had. Equally satisfactory was the letter of Sii 
Henry Parnell. 

A motion was subsequently made in the House of Commons, to take into consideration 
tho Catholic claims, and in the discussion upon it, the views of the Catholics with regard 
to the veto and its substitute — " domestic nomination," were explained. But Catholic and 
Irish affairs were, now that the war was long done, and England busy settling her accounts 
after it, matters of very secondary importance, and so the motion was hastily negatived. 

A most respectful address, of the same tendency, was also forwarded to the bishops, and 
by them generally well received, and responded to with renewed pledges against the veto 

The next meeting of the Catholic Board was occupied with a matter, which had already 
drawn forth the strong condemnation of the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin §nd his coad- 
jutor 



CATHOLIC BOARD— RHEMISH BIBLE. 

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 4, 1817. 

Mr. O'Connell said that on the last day of meeting, he gave 
notice that he would move for a committee to draw up a dis- 
avowal of the very dangerous and uncharitable doctrines con- 
tained in certain notes to the Rhemish Testament. He now 
rose to submit that motion to the consideration of the Board. 

The late edition of the Rhemish Testament in this country 
gave rise to much observation. That work was denounced t rf 
Doctor Troy. An action is now depending between him and a 
respectable bookseller in this city, and it would be the duty of 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.T. 



40 



the Board not to interfere, in the remotest degree, with the sub- 
ject of that action, but on the other hand, the Board could not 
let the present opportunity pass by of recording their senti- 
ments of disapprobation, and even of abhorrence, of the bigoted 
and intolerant doctrines promulgated in that work. Their feel- 
ings of what was wise, consistent, and liberal, would suggest 
such a proceeding, even though the indecent calumnies of their 
enemies had not rendered it indispensable. 

A work called the British Critic had, no doubt, been read by 
some gentleman who heard him. The circulation of the last 
number has been very extensive, and Succeeded, almost beyond 
calculation, the circulation of any former number, in conse- 
quence of an article which appeared in it on the late edition of 
the Ehemish Testament. He (Mr. O'Connell) said he read that 
article. It is extremely unfair and uncandid ; it gives, with 
audacious falsehood, passages as if from the notes to the Ehemish 
Testament, which cannot be found in that* work; and, with 
mean cunning, it seeks to avoid detection by quoting without 
giving either text or page. Throughout, it is written in the 
true spirit of the inquisition : it is violent, vindictive, and un- 
charitable. He was sorry to understand that it was written by 
ministers of the Established Church ; but he trusted that when 
the charge of intemperance should be again brought forward 
against the Catholics, their accusers would cast their eyes on 
this coarse and illiberal attack. Here they may find a specimen 
of real intemperance. 

But the very acceptable work of imputing principles to the 
Irish people which they never held, and which they abhor, was 
not confined to the British Critic. The Courier, a newspaper 
whose circulation is immense, lent its hand ; and the provincial 
newspapers throughout England — those papers which are ever 
silent when anything might be said favourable to Ireland, but 
are ever active to disseminate whatever may tend to her disgrace 
or dishonour — they have not hesitated to impute to the Catho- 
lics of this country the doctrines contained in those offensive 
notes, and it was their duty to disclaim them. Nothing was 
more remote from the true sentiments of the .Irish people. 

These notes were of English growth ; they were written in 
agitated times, when the title of Elizabeth was questioned on 
the grounds of legitimacy. Party spirit was then extremely 
violent. Politics mixed with religion, and of course disgraced 
it. Queen Mary, of Scotland, had active partizans, who thought 
it would forward their purposes to translate the Bible, and add 



46 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



to it those obnoxious notes. But very shortly after the estab- 
lishment of the college at Douay, this Rhemish edition was con- 
demned by all the doctors of that institution, who, at the same 
time, called for, and received the aid of the Scotch and Irish 
colleges. The book was thus suppressed, and an edition of the 
Bible, with notes, was published at Douay, which has been ever 
since adopted by the Catholic church ; so that they not only 
condemned and suppressed the Rhemish edition, but they pub- 
lished an edition, with notes, to which no objection has been, or 
could be urged. 

From that period there have been but two editions of the 
Ithemish Testament ; the first had very little circulation ; the 
late one was published by a very ignorant printer in Cork, a 
man of the name of M/JSTamara, a person who was not capable 
of distinguishing between the Bhemish and other edition of the 
Bible. He took up the matter merely as a speculation in trade. 
He meant to publish a Catholic Bible, and having put his hand 
upon the Ehemish edition, he commenced to print it in num- 
bers. He subsequently became a bankrupt, and his property 
in this transaction vested in Mr. Cumming, a respectable book- 
seller in this city, who is either a Protestant or a Presbyterian, 
but he carried on the work like M-'Namara, merely to make 
money of it as a commercial speculation. 

And yet, continued Mr. O'Connell, our enemies have taken 
it up with avidity. They have asserted that the sentiments 
contained in those notes are cherished by the Catholics in this 
country. He would not be surprised to hear of speeches in the 
next parliament on this subject. It was a hundred to one but 
that some of our briefless barristers have already commenced 
composing their dull calumnies, and that we shall have speeches 
from them for the edification of the legislature and the protec- 
tion of the Church. 

There was not a moment to be lost. The Catholics, with one 
voice, should disclaim these very odious, these execrable doc- 
trines. He was convinced that there was not a single Catholic of 
any description in Ireland that did not feel with him, the uttermost 
abhorrence of such principles. Illiberality has been imputed to 
the Irish peopl e ; but they are most grossly, most cruelly wronged. 
It had been his fortune often to address the Catholic people of 
Ireland, and he knew them well. He had ever found them 
prompt to applaud every sentiment of liberality, and the doc- 
trine of perfect freedom of conscience — the right of every human 
Deing to have his religious creed, whatever that creed might be, 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



47 



unpolluted by the impious interference of bigoted and oppres- 
sive laws. These sacred rights were never advocated — these en- 
larged and generous sentiments were never uttered at a Catho- 
lic meeting, whether aggregate or otherwise, without receiving, 
at the instant, the loud and unanimous applause of the assembly. 

It might, to be sure, be said, and doubtless would be, that 
those meetings were composed of mere rabble. Be it so. For 
one, he would concede that for the sake of argument. But what 
followed ? Why, just this : that the Catholic rabble, without 
the advantages cf education, or the influence of polished society, 
were so well acquainted with the genuine principles of Chris- 
tian charity, that they, the rabble, adopted and applauded the 
sentiments of liberality and of religious freedom, which unfor- 
tunately, met but little encouragement from the polished and 
educated of other sects. 

He owed it to his religion, as a Catholic and a Christian — to 
his country, as an Irishman — to his feelings, as a human being, 
to utterly denounce the abominable doctrines contained in the 
notes of this edition of the Rhemish Testament. 

He was a Catholic upon principle ; a steadfast and sincere 
Catholic, from the conviction that it was the best form of reli- 
gion ; but he would not remain a Catholic one hour longer, if 
he thought it essential to the profession of the Catholic faith, 
to believe that it was lawful to murder Protestants, or that faith 
might be innocently broken with heretics ; — yet such were the 
doctrines to be deduced from the notes to this Rhemish Testa- 
ment. 

His motion, in conclusion, was for a sub-committee, to whom 
the matter should, in the first instance, be referred. The strongest 
form of disavowal should be drawn up, and might be very pro- 
perly submitted for the sanction of an aggregate meeting. Co- 
pies should then be immediately circulated everywhere, and in 
particular be sent to every member of both Houses of Parliament, 
to the dignitaries of the Protestant Church, and the Synod of 
Ulster, &c, &c. 

Mr. Eneas MacDonnell opposed the motion ! but his opposition was speedily scouted, and 
the motion carried ; the sub-committee to be, Mr. O'Connell, Mr. Scully, MnO'Kelly, Mr. 
Mahon, and " Pius ^Eneas" himself. 

The last acts of the Catholics, in the year 1817, were to send forward their ""Remon- 
strance" to the Court of Rome, and to receive the report of their agent at that court, the 
Rev. Richard Hayes. 

The year 1818 parsed over without much of interest occurring on which we need delay 
the reader. The apathy over the popular mind was at its height, and where any effort 
was attempted, dissension and division were sure to interfere to step all progress. It 
would be difficult accurately to convey an idea of what Mr. O'Connell justly styled, upon 



48 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



one of the few public occasions then occurring, " the depression of those miserable tiineai" 

In June, 1818, an answer was at last received from the Court of Rome, and read at a 
meeting of the Catholic Board, on Saturday, the 6th of that month. 

It commenced with stating, that the reason an earlier answer had not been made, was 
twofold ; first, that the sentiments of the Court of Rome had been made < known to the 
bishops of Ireland, who were considered the more proper channel for the communication ; 
and, second, that however sincere the assurances of respect, &c, on the part of tho lay- 
Catholics, there were some phrases used by them, with regard to the extent of the papal 
authority, which did not give satisfaction. 

It went on to state that the intended concession to the British government was pro- 
posed in what appeared the interest of the Catholic religion in these countries, as emancipa- 
tion, if thereby purchased, would give relief to the suffering Catholic body, remove temp- 
tations to apostacy, and also impediments to conversion from the dissenting sects. 

But that the arrangement was entirely meant to be conditional, and only conditional 
upon the previous passing of the Emancipation Act 

It concluded with a justification of the proceedings against the Rev. Richard Hayes. 

That reverend gentleman, before the document was read, protested that, while yet 
ignorant of its contents, he did, -in any point in which it mighc blame him, express his 
entire submission and contrition, and would supplicate pardon from his Holiness. 

A committee, consisting of Messrs. O'Connell, Lanigan,MacDonnell, Scully, Howley and 
Woulfe, were appointed to consider what steps should be taken in this matter. 

A public dinner, given upon a very handsome scale, to Thomas Moore (and of which 
Mr. O'Connell was the chief promoter), on theSthof June, afforded an opportunity for 
the following renewed expression of truly liberal and truly Irish feelings. 

.The chairman (Earl of Charlemont), after the leading toasts had been given, proposed — 

"The managing Committee, and many thanks to them for their exertions." 

There was a general cry for Mr. O'Connell. 

He came forward with some reluctance, and declared that he 
had no affectation at all upon the subject, but could not recog- 
nise any claim he had to any peculiar notice on such an occa- 
sion as the present. 

When gentlemen met to express the national sentiment to- 
wards the most delightful of the bards of Old Erin, it was quite 
refreshing, he said, to see the cordial alacrity with which men of 
every party combined in that testimony to his talents and 
his worth. The Irish legend celebrated the fame of the Saint of 
Ireland, at whose command every venomous reptile quitted the 
land, but it would remain for history to celebrate the more 
glorious and useful triumph of the Poet of Ireland, at whose 
presence all that was rancorous and malignant in the angry pas- 
sions of absurd partizanship, ceased, and violent and virulent 
disputation became converted into a scene of peace, harmony, 
and affection. 

It was a pleasing, a delicious change, and might be perpetual, 
if Irishmen of all parties would recollect that there were gene- 
rous, kindly, brave, and good men of every party ; and that, 
however,. in the zeal of contention, those good qualities might 
be denied, yet they did, in fact, live and reside, as in a chosen 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



home, in the bosoms of Irishmen of every faction, sect, and per- 
suasion. (Loud cheers.) 

This work of conciliation and natural affection was most 
suited to the man who combined in himself the most splendid 
and the most endearing qualities — who was alone and at the 
same time the sweetest poet, the best of sons, and the most ex- 
quisite Irishman living. (Loud applause.) 

For himself, all he should say was, that nothing could give 
him greater pleasure than to be able to extinguish party zeal 
for ever, and to join in a national exertion for the benefit of all 
the inhabitants of his native land. He was a party man, to be 
sure ; but it was his misfortune ; not his fault, to be so. He, 
however, belonged to the party of the oppressed and excluded ; 
and if he had been born in Madrid or in Constantinople, he 
vowed to God he would in either place be more intemperate and 
violent for the protection pf the persecuted Protestant in the 
one, and of the trampled-down Christian in the other. (Conti- 
nued applause.) 



PUBLIC DINNER TO MR. O'CONNELL AT TRALEE. 

From this public dinner to Tom Moore, our hasty narrative must jump to a dinner 
given to Mr. O'Connell himself, in October, at Tralee, the chief town in his native county. 

w On Monday last, October 24th, 1817, a pnblic dinner was given, at the 
! Mail-coach Hotel, in this town, to Counsellor O'Connell, in testimony of the 
I approbation of the gentry of his native county, of his public and private cha- 
racter. The concourse of gentlemen at this dinner was greater than had ever 
before been seen in Kerry. The entire first floor of the hotel was thrown into 
(me ; but the room was still not large enough to contain the entire company. 
Near thirty were under the necessity of dining in one of the parlours. 

'* John Bernard of Ballynaguard, Esq., was in the chair. The vice-presi- 
dent was John Stack, of B ally corny,. Esq. The dinner was excellent, and 
consisted of every delicacy in season, and was served in a very superior style, 
After the cloth was removed, the following toasts were given : — 

M 'The K>ng.' 

" 4 His Royal Highness the Prince Regent, and the Principles which placed his Illustrious 
Family upon the Throne.' 
" 1 Prosperity to Old Ireland.' 

M 'The Lord-Lieutenant and tbe Agricultural Interests of Ireland.' 

u 1 Mr. Secretary Grant and Universal Toleration.' Three times three — much cheering, 

u ' The Lord Mayor of Dublin and the Liberal part of the Corporation.' 

M 1 Ciril and Religious Liberty to all Mankind.' 

" The Chairman then called the attention of the company to the immediate 
cause of their meeting. He said, that being totally unaccustomed to speaking 
in public, he was unable to do justice to the worth and talent which they were 
VOL. II. D 



50 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



met to celebrate. But in tkdi company, where they were known, they needed 
no encomium. He would, therefore, simply propose 

" 'Our Guest— Daniel O'Connell.' 

" This toast was enthusiastically greeted by the entire company. Tlie eheer- 
ing and applause continued for several minutes. When silence was restored. 
Mr. O'Connell rose and addressed the company in a speech of which we can give 
only an outline. He rose under the manifest oppression of strong feelings, and 
those feelings more than once overpowered him. 

Mr. O'Conxell said that his kind friends would at least give 
him credit for this — that he wanted words to express his grati- 
tude. Where, indeed, could words be found to express the big 
gratitude that swelled his heart ] Language was inadequate to 
this purpose ; and he could only rely on the electricity of Irish 
cordiality to convey the impulses of his affections to the kindred \ 
spirits of his kind friends and countrymen. 

When, said he, I see myself surrounded by so much of the 
rank, the wealth, and the independence of my native county, I 
am naturally driven to ask, How have I deserved this proud 
and flattering honour 1 It is not by my talents ; for, if I pos- 
sess any, they are of the lower order : it is not by my services ; 
for, alas ! whatever exertions I may have made for our unhappy 
country have hitherto proved abortive and fruitless. No ! I 
have neither talents nor services ; but you have recognized, per- 
haps, in me a congenial disinterestedness and honesty of inten- 
tion. If you have seen in me a singleness «f heart and a purity 
of motive ; if you have given me credit for the absence of every 
sordid and selfish feeling ; if you have considered that I loved 
my country for her own sake alone, your kindness and genero- 
sity have supplied the rest : you have taken the will for the 
deed ; you have given to intentions the merit of actions, and 
have made motives supply the place of services. 

THis is the result of your enthusiastic generosity ; but, per- 
haps, it is also prudent. It may be prudent and wise ; and, in- 
deed, I think it is both prudent and wise to read the lesson you 
do this night to your brothers and your children — to teach them 
this, that mere honesty and integrity can procure for the pub- 
lic man the greatest and most heart-binding reward, in the kind- 
ness and affectionate approbation of his countrymen. 

Oh, but you afford another and a better example ! Where 
are intolerance, and bigotry, and religious rancour now ? Let 
them behold this sight ; let them see here the Protestant rank 
and wealth of Kerry paying a tribute to an humble individual, 
only because he has been the zealous advocate of their Catholic 



DANIEL o'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



51 



brethren. Would to God that tne honest men in England, who 
have been led to oppose Emancipation, by the belief that in Ire- 
land the Protestant feared the Catholic, and the Catholic hated 
the Protestant, could behold this spectacle, and see how kindly 
the Protestant cheers the Catholic advocate, and how affection- 
ately the Catholic repays the kindness of his Protestant friends. 
(Loud and long-continued applause followed these sentiments.) 
Mr. O'Connell continued — 

My political creed is short and simple. It consists in believ- 
ing that all men are entitled, as of right and justice, to religious 
and civil liberty. I deserve no credit for being the advocate of 
religious liberty, as my wants alone require such advocacy ; but 
I have taken care to require it only on that principle which 
would equally grant it to all sects and persuasions, vhich, while 
it emancipated the Catholics in Ireland, would protect the Pro- 
testant in France and Italy, and destroy the Inquisition, toge- 
ther with the inquisitors, in Spain. Religion is debased and 
degraded by human interference ; and surely the worship of 
the Deity cannot but be contaminated by the admixture of 
worldly ambition or human force. Such are my sentiments — 
such are yours. 

Civil liberty is equally dear to us all ; and we can now see, 
with heartfelt satisfaction, that it is making a sure and steady 
progress. The history of the world has taught us to abhor des- 
potism — the story of modern revolutions has taught us to avoid 
and detest the evils of anarchy. In these countries all that is 
requisite is to restore the constitution to its original purity, to 
bring its genuine principle into activity, and to sweep away the 
fictions which have taken the place of realities ; — in short, to 
limit the duration of parliament, and to abolish nominal repre- 
sentation of the people. For those useful and practical pur- 
poses all good men should combine, and from their combination 
success must ensue. 

But the progress of rational liberty is manifest and cheering. 
Even the Autocrat of Russia emancipated the slaves of Cour- 
land ; France already possesses the principle of representation ; 
in the states of Prussia and Germany the iron vassalage of the 
feudal system has been abolished, and the people are vigorously 
struggling for representative government ; Spain is, I trust in 
God, on the verge of a powerful revolution, which will vindicate 
her from the misery and reproach of her present civil tyranny ; 
South America has already burst her bondage, and the banners 
of liberty already float over her plains and on her majestic 



52 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



mountains; and in North America the experiment of .popular ( 
liberty has been made with pre-eminent success, and the people 
and the government have become identified. 

These facts suggest pleasing prospects, and gladden the heart 
of every man who, whilst he abhors the guilt of irregular ambi- 
tion, equally detests the servility of that more sordid ambition, 
whose object is to turn the public service into a source of private 
emolument. If I have any claim as a public man, it is that I j j 
equally reject the one and the other. i 

Such, my friends, is my political creed — such are my princi- i 
pies. That they have met your approbation constitutes the 
proudest moment of my life, and shall be remembered with ex- 
quisite satisfaction to the latest moment of my existence. Your 
approbation has confirmed that genuine loyalty that binds us 
to the British Constitution in its purity, and has given a more 
decided character to that love of liberty which attaches us to all 
mankind. We will, if you please, set our seal on those senti- f 
ments by drinking — 

* » The Cause of Rational Liberty all over the Globe.' 

V The applauses continued for a considerable time after the learned gentleman ; j 
had sat down. The following toasts succeeded:— 

" ' The Army and Navy of the United Empire ; may they be as happy in peace as they ! 
have been glorieua in war.' , ! 

u ' The Knight of Kerry, and the Friends of Retrenchment and Reform in the House of I 
Commons.' 

" ' Colonel Crosbie, and the Resident Gentry of the County of Kerry. 
" ' Edward Denny, Esq., M.P., and may we soon see restored the hereditary hospitality 
of the Denny family in their native county.' 
" ' Ear] Donoughmore and the Friends of the Constitution in the House of Lords.* 
" ' Judge Day, an excellent Landlord, an affectionate Friend, and a good Man.' 

" This toast having been drunk with more than usual demonstrations of regard, 
Mr O'Connell rose and begged permission to say a few words. He gladly- 
seized that opportunity to con cur in the testimony borne by his coun trymen to J udge 
Day. On political subjects he had the misfortune to differ from that respected 
I gentleman ; but whilst he continued to maintain the independence of his own 
J political opinions, he could not cease to regret that such a difference had existed, 
j It was now at an end : the learned judge had now retired into private life, and 
y there the most unmixed and heartfelt approbation followed his conduct as a 
fj landlord, a friend, and a gentleman. 

U " Do you require testimony of his worth as a landlord — go and ask his happy 
| \ tenantry, and they will tell you he is not an excellent, but the very best of land- 
| lords. They will tell you how he fostered and cherished them during the bad 
j ; times, out of which I hope we are escaping, and their present prosperity speaks 

I his praise with an eloquence that no eulogiura can equal. He is an affectionate, 

II active, zealous friend. What Kerryman ever yet asked him for a kindness 

[J within his reach, and was refused? No; he never refused to act kindly ; on | 
the contrary, whatever his active exertions could do to promote the interests of 



DANIEL O'CON'NELL, E3Q., M.P 



53 



bis friends was unremittingly bestowed, and that with a cheerfulness and afFoo- 
tion which produced gratitude, even where he could not succeed. With these 
social virtues he retires from public life, into the bosom of a society, which will, 
I trust, render the remainder of his life happy, by bestowing on him that respect- 
ful kindness which he deserves as an excellent landlord, a kind friend, and a 
good man. (Loud and general applause.) 
"These toasts succeeded: — 

" 1 The Constitution, may it be restored to its purity and preserved for ever. 1 
" ' The Hon. Christopher Hely Hutchinson and the Friends of Freedom in Cork.' 
" ' Thomas Spring Bice and the Friends of Independence in Limerick. 1 

44 The entertainment was at this time interrupted by three distinct cheera 
from the street. It was discovered, that the two parties who have so often dis- 
turbed the peace of the town by their internal riots, had, for this night, coalesced, 
and arranged themselves into something like regimental order. They had got 
up a kind of band of musicians ; and, arrayed with torches, and under four ban- 
ners, they traversed the town. On two of the banners were painted emblems of 
Peace and Union ; the thud displayed the Knight of Kerry's, and the fourth 
the O'Connell arms. Their band struck up ' Patrick's Day,' and Mr. O'Connell 
was called on by the company to address them from the window, which he did. 
The stewards ordered out two hogsheads of porter ; but they were immediately 
rolled back, the people declaring that they did not come to get drink, nor would 
they accept of any— that they came merely to pay a compliment to a man who 
Was the sincere friend of Irishmen of all ranks and classes. 

" Mr. CCoxnell then asked leave to propose a bumper to the health of the 
proprietor of the town. He was the descendant of one of the most ancient fami- 
lies in the British dominions ; his ancestors had been settled in Kerry since the 
reign of Queen Elizabeth ; and they had not come here needy and obscure adven- 
turers, but gentlemen even at that time of ancient and high descent. The pre- 
sent baronet was a gentleman of retired and unobtrusive manners ; but he pos- 
sessed a liberality of sentiment on the topics which most agitate and interest 
Ireland, which do equal credit to his head and his heart. He then proposed — 

" * Sir Edward Denny, Bart., and the good People of Tralee.^ (Loud applause.) 

" Maynard Denny, Esq., then rose and said, that he could not sit silent when 
his brother's health was drank in so nattering a manner. He begged to assure 
the company that it was the first wish of his brother, and, indeed, of his entire 
family, to merit the approbation and kindness of the gentry of this great and 
ever loyal county. (Hear, hear, hear, much applause.) 

" The Chairman next proposed — 

" 1 The Rev. Stephen Creagh Sandes, and the Protestants of Kerry/ (Three times three, 
cheering.) 

"The Rev. Mr. Chute returned thanks for the honour conferred on his 
respected friend, Mr. bandes, and the Protestants of this county. 

** 'The Right Rev. Dr. Sugrue and the Roman Catholic Clergy of Kerry.' 

"The worthy prelate then rose, and returned thanks, in a short, but very 
impressive speech, which we regret to say we ean but feebly convey to our 
readers. Every word of it breathed the true spirit of Christian charity and con- 
ciliation. The substance of what fell from him, as well as we could collect, was, 
that the doctrines of perfect liberality and mutual affection had been those which 
he ever entertained and asserted, and which he had always instructed his clergy 
et* every rank to inculcate on the minds of the people ; and he confidently a^peale' 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



to his Protestant friends, whether those doctrines of liberality and charity towards 
all men had not been uniformly inculcated by the Roman Catholic clergy ia 
Kerry. 

" These doctrines were met, as he verily believed they always are, by a reci- 
procal liberality on the part of the other persuasions, and hence it was by the 
good sense and the good feelings of all parties that an uninterrupted cordiality 
and harmony prevailed in Kerry — and that, even in the worst periods of the 
rebellion, the county of Kerry had been pre-eminently distinguished by its loyalty, 
and had obtained the honour of being, in the fatal year 1798, styled by the then 
government of Ireland, ' The unstained county.' The excitement of religious 
dissension being taken away, there had been no difficulty in preserving tha 
people in their allegiance ; not a single soldier was quartered in Kerry during 
the worst periods of the year 1798 ; and the poor peasants of this county thus 
read a lesson to their rulers which ought to teach the inestimable value of reli- 
gious concord and Christian liberality. 

"For his own part, he claimed but a share of this merit — he had been coun- 
tenanced and assisted by the highly respectable personages, the lord bishops of 
Limerick. He would boast of calling them his kind friends, and had often 
exchanged with them the endearing expression of brother bishop. The late lord 
bishop, Dr. Bernard, was an ornament to his age and country. As a classical 
scholar, as a polished wit, and as an accomplished gentleman, as well as a divine, 
he stood unrivalled. *■ The present lord bishop, Dr. Warburton, whom he was 
proud to call his friend, possessed as liberal and as laiige mind as he had ever met 
with, and was a very sincere friend to religious concord, and inculcated by his 
precept as well as by his example, that harmony and Christian charity amongst 
men of all persuasions which did honour to his rank and station. Thus fortified, 
he said, that he trusted there never would be found any change in the sentiments 
of all Christians in Kerry towards one another, and that they would ever main- 
lain towards each other, their present liberality, harmony, and affection* The 
worthy prelate concluded amongst the cheers of the entire company. 

"'Stephen Henry Rice, Esq., and the Pure and Impartial Administration of Justice.' 
(Three times three— great applause.) 

^ " Mr. Rice returned thanks in an animated and pointed strain. He expressed 
his great pleasure that the gentlemen of Kerry should approve of his conduct. 
It was, he said, no merit to administer justice with impartiality amongst such 
men. He claimed no praise on that account. It was simply his duty, and those 
who knew him would easily believe, that he could have no inducement but the 
performance of that duty, to the best of his understanding, and according to his 
conscience. He begged leave to propose the health of 

" ' Colonel Barry and the Gentlemen of Killarney.' 

" Colonel Barry returned thanks. 

" The Chairman then announced as the next toast — 

u ' Sir Samuel Romilly and the persecuted Protestants in France.* 

"Then followed— 

"'The Patriots of South America and a speedy and eternal Extinction to the In qui- 
iHion." 

" Both these toasts were drank with acclamations. 
M 1 The Bard of Erin— Thomas Moore.' 
4 Wia cannot describe the enthusiasm with which this toast was receive?!. 



DANIEL O'COKNELL, ESQ.. M.P. 



[ Amongst the remaining toasts were — 

** 4 The Duke of Leinster, and the Resident Nobility of Ireland.' 

" 1 The Earl of Charlemont, the Hereditary Patriot of the Irish Nobility.* 

u 1 The Glorious and Immortal Memory of John Philpot Curran.' 

u * Our distinguished Countryman, Charles Phillips, and the Independence of the Irish 
Bar.' 

" 1 Sir Francis Burdett, and the Free Electors of Westminster.' 
" 1 The Hon. Douglas Kinniard, and the Reformers of Scotland.' 
M *Beecher Wrixon, Esq., and the Friends of Freedom in MaDow.' 
" 1 Messrs. Carew and Colclough, and the Popular Interest in the County of Wexford.' 
" 1 Alderman Waithman, and the Independent Livery of London.' 
"'Sir Robert Wilson, and the Friends of Reform in So nthwark.' 
•The President and Free People of North America, may they be bound in Bonds of 
Eternal Unity with these Countries.' 
" 4 Universal Benevolence.' 

" During the evening there were also the "healths drank of several of the nobi- 
lity and gentry connected with Kerry. On that of the Earl of Kenmare being 
drank, Mr. Gallway returned thanks. 

"Thomas Day, Esq., took occasion to propose the health, he said, of one of 
the most respectable gentlemen of the county, 

44 4 Maurice O'Connell, of Darrinane, Esq.* 

"This toast having been received with distinguished applause, Mr. O'Connell 
returned thanks in a short and animated speech. He said he could answer for 
it, that his aged and venerated relative would be pleased and proud of the honour 
conferred that night on him and his family ; delicacy restrained him from indulging 
his feelings in speaking of that venerable gentleman ; but he might be permitted 
to say, that he afforded an admirable specimen of the ancient Milesian gentleman 
— courteous and polite, without either flattery or familiarity, dignified, yet affec- 
tionate, with the strongest judgment and kindest heart he had passed through a 
long life of happiness and prosperity, and was now reaching his ninetieth year, 
with his faculties and reason as distinct and clear as ever — with what was more 
remarkable, his cheerfulness as unclouded, and his natural gaiety as undiminished 
as in his early life — and what almost exceeded belief, but yet was literally true, 
with the affections of the kindly heart as warm, as animated, and as tender as if 
he were still a youth. 

M From his precepts and example his family could derive no lessons but those 
of integrity and honour ; and his family, notwithstanding his advanced age. 
might look forward to enjoy many years of those precepts and that example, and 
when his career should draw to its close, there never lived a human being over 
whose grave would be poured such sincere tears of filial piety, reverence, and love, 
" Amongst the other toasts given were those of the high sheriff, Charles Her- 
bert, Esq., which the Chairman prefaced by some pertinent remarks on the inde- 
pendent manner in which he had called the county meeting, to petition against 
the window tax. 

" On the health of John Collis, of Barrow, Esq., being given, that gentleman 
retarded thanks in a short speech. 

"John O'Connell, of Grenagh, £sq., begged leave to propose the health of 
a gallant young gentleman who had fought and bled in the service of his country, 
and who was likely to be at the head of a splendid fortune in Kern-, which, he 
was certain, he would do honour to by his liberality and independence. 

44 4 Captain Mullins' 
was then drank with three times three. 



SELECT SPEECHES OP 



"The Chairman having proposed the health of the Vice-President, Jo>ui 
Stack, Esq., the latter returned thanks, and said, he availed himself of that 
opportunity to propose the health of an officer of high rank in foreign service, of 
whom Kerry had the honour to boast, 

" Lieut.-General Daniel Count O'Connell.' 

" Mr. O'Coknell said, he again felt himself called upon to express his sense 
of the honour done to his respected relative. 

u General O'Connell had left his native land at an early age, and had, before 
the revolution in France, risen from the rank of second lieutenant, to that of a 
general officer. In his progresp he was not aided by influence or patronage, and 
even his nephew may, without delicacy, be permitted to say, that he had risen 
by the mere force of his talents and his virtues. He did, indeed, afford a bright 
but melancholy instance of the miserable impolicy of the penal code, which forced 
into the service of foreign and adverse states, the genius and the virtue of Irishmen. 

"Never did any man more bitterly regret than General O'Connell the neces- 
sity, which drove him from the service of his legitimate king, and his beloved 
country He always speaks of that necessity in the language of sincere sorrow ; 
and Ireland and Irishmen are only made more dear to his heart by absence. 
Never, indeed, did any man possess a more genuine Irish heart. His country- 
men who met him in France would readily testify, that no human being ever 
possessed a more generous heart or ready hand. There was a benevolence around 
him which exceeded all his other brilliant qualities ; and he rejoiced in his ele- 
vation, first, and principally, because it enabled him to be useful to numbers of 
his relatives and of his countrymen. 

" This is not a picture drawn by the exaggerating hand of friendship. It is 
a mitigated sketch of a man who lives in the hearts of his friends, and is the most 
endearing of relatives. His country has. at length, reclaimed him, and he has 
at least this consolation, that he will die in the service of his native land, an t 
that the good sense and the good feeling of the present day have for ever opened 
that service to Irishmen of -every class and persuasion. Yes, my friends, we 
have this consolation, that whatever of genius or virtue arises in Kerry in futin e, 
they will no longer devote themselves to France or to Spain, but be consecrated 
to the sendee of Old Ireland. 



A UNION MEMBER.. 

At the general elections which occurred in this year, Mr. O'Connell exerted himself stren - 
uously in Kerry to procure the return of the Eight Honourable Maurice Fitzgerald, the 
Knight of Kerry, and an incident of the election is thus alluded to by the latter gentleman, 
in a letter dated 6th November, 1818, published in the papers. We quote an extract from 
it as the testimony of a " Union member" and one yet living, to the broken promises, and 
evil operation of the act for which he unfortunately voted : — 

" Mr. O'Connell having expressed an opinion much too flattering of my con- 
duct, with the exception of my vote on the Union, I am made to say, ' that I 
thanked Mr. O'Connell for explaining my conduct on the Union, that Lord Com- 
wallis had shown me a distinct promise, written and signed by Mr. Pitt, by 
which the Union was to be followed by a total and unqualified Emancipation of 
the Catholics of Ireland.' 

" I did say that I thanked my friend Mr. O'Connell (not for explaining), but 
for giving me an opportunity of explaining the motives which induced me to 
vote for the Union. I did not say that Lord Corawallis had shown me the 



! 



DANIEL O'CONNELL ESQ., M.P. 57 

paper, nor did I mention the name of Lord Cornwallis or of Mr. Pitt, or of any 
other person whatever, as connected with that measure. Neither did Mr. O'Con- 
i nell say that he knew I longed anxiously to repeal the Union. None of these 
| things were said, and therefore, though I may not respect more than you do the 
1 reasoning powers of the writer, and must allow that he may have been misled, 
as to his facts, it is necessary to destroy the foundation of his calumnious insinu- 
ations. 

M Mr. O'Connell stated, and so did I, Mat I regretted my vote on the Union. ' 

I I regret it, because all the predicted <? Js, and none of the promised benefits 
have resulted from it. I stated at the* me time, that I had never given a vote 
with more honest intentions. That gro-fs delusion had been practised to carry | [ 
the measure, as the event proved. These delusions were more formally and 
authoritatively embodied in the speech of Mr. Pitt on that occasion. All this I 
have repeatedly stated in parliament, and in much stronger language than I 
ever used at a public meeting. 

j " If Lord Cornwallis had shown me a paper signed by Mr. Pitt, it must have 
been of a private nature, and it would have been a breach (not of a privy coun- 
cillor's oath, as insinuated, for I was not then a privy councillor, but) of the 

: honour of a gentleman to have betrayed it. 

u Lord Cornwallis did give to me, not in confidence or secrecy, but expressly 

| for circulation, a document which has been since frequently published and quoted, 

j as containing the declaration of the then retiring cabinet. This also I have 
stated in parliament, but did not mention it at my election. 

" I shall never shrink from avowing the motives, which, under the circum- 
stances in which Ireland was, induced me to vote for the Union. I voted for the 
Union, to guard against the possible re-enactment of the penal laws, which was 
contemplated. To procure the extinction of mischievous political and religious 

: distinctions among my countrymen, and to obtain a safer support and more dig- 

I nlfied character to the Protestant Church, than is compatible with the present ; 
tithe system, more mjurious to its clergy than even to the Catholic farmer.'' 



CATHOLIC MEETING. 

I Wk come to the year 1819. The first occurrence of note in which Mr. O'Connell's name 
appears was at a meeting of Catholics to express their gratitude, for a very well got up ] 
demonstration by the liberal Protestants of Ireland, at the Rotunda. 
The Catholic inhabitants of the parishes of St. Andrew's, St. Anne's, and St. Mark's, 
I assembled yesterday (Wednesday, 27th January"), pursuant to public notice, in the com- j 
mittee-room of Townsend-street chapel. P. Curtis, Esq., in the chair. It was found 
necessary to adjourn to the body of the chapel. 
After the preliminary forms had been gone through, 

Mr. O'Connell offered himself to the attention of the meeting, and in a temperate, elo j 
' quert, and sensible speech, proposed the following resolutions, introducing each by remark* ' 
appropriate to itself 

" Resolved — That we deem it our first duty to offer the tribute of 
pur most grateful thauks to our esteemed and respected brethren, the i 
Protestants of Ireland, who have come forward with such distinguished [ 
liberality and cordiality to petition for oar Emancipation. ■ 



58 



SELECT SPEECHES OP 



" Resolved— That encouraged by their example and support, we do 
renew our application to the legislature, for the total repeal of the 
penal laws still affecting our body. 

" Resolved — That a committee consisting of the following gentle- 
men be appointed to prepare the draft of a petition to the legislature, 
to be submitted to the meeting, namely — 

"Mr. P. Curtis, Mr. O'Connell, Mr. J. Weldon, Mr. T. Fynn, Mr. 
Kernan, Mr. Hayes, Mr. Thomas Hay, Mr. James M £ Auley, Mr. Ter- 
ence Hughes, Mr. Nugent, Mr. William Ryder, Mr. Edward O'Rielly, 
Mr. Donelan, Mr. Michael Hughes, and Mr. Gordon. 

" The draft of a petition having heen prepared and read ****♦» 
" The following is the draft of the petition : — 

" PETITION. 

66 That your petitioners have repeatedly and respectfully, in their 
humble petitions, solicited the attention of this honourable house, to 
the multitudinous exclusions and disabilities by which his majesty's 
faithful subjects, the Roman Catholics of Ireland, are afflicted in this 
their native land. 

" That in our present application to the wisdom of the legislature, 
we are equally encouraged and delighted by the cordial co-operatio» 
of great numbers of our beloved countrymen, the Protestants of 
Ireland. 

" That may it please this honourable house to understand those Pro- 
testants, in seeking for relief on our behalf, do thereby on their parts 
tender a sacrifice of the monopoly of the emoluments, powers, and 
honours of the state ; a sacrifice that must be attributed to the purest 
motives of such Christian charity and exalted benevolence, as entitle 
those Protestants (so we most humbly and respectfully submit) to great 
attention and consideration from this honourable house. 

" That it is the anxious and earnest desire of your petitioners to 
live on terms of reciprocal charity and benevolence with our respected 
Protestant fellow-countrymen, and we desire the repeal of the ex- 
cluding and restricting laws still in force against us, first, and princi- 
pally, because those laws have a direct tendency to create and con- 
tinue a spirit of irritation and ill-will, and to prevent that combination 
in affection and interest of all classes of his majesty's subjects, which 
must, upon every emergency, afford the most sure defence to the 
throne, and most durable and stable support to the constitution. 

" May it, therefore, please this honourable house, to take into con- 
sideration the unmerited privations and sufferings of the Roman Catho- 
lics of - Ireland, and the benevolent petitions of the Protestants of the 
land ; and, by granting the prayer of the Protestants of Ireland, to 
restore the Roman Catholics of Ireland to the full and equal participa- 
tion of all the privileges and franchises of the constitution." 
Mr. Kirwan seconded the resolutions, and they were all passed with perfect unanimity. 

Mr. O'Connell spoke in the most animated and enthusiastic 
'ms of the liberality and beneficence of those estimable Irish 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



59 



Protestants, who are at present preparing applications to par- 
liament on behalf of their suffering Catholic brethren. He hailed, 
in glowing language, the dawn of friendship and affection, 
which has, at length, broken in upon Irishmen. He gave 
Earl Talbot's administration the praise of neutrality, at least 
upon the present momentous and memorable occasion : the 
slightest interference upon the part of his Excellency's govern- 
ment to check the course of generous feeling now so happily 
flowing through the country, was not, he said, to be traced ; 
the propriety of petitioning he conceived to be unquestionable • 
much benefit always resulted from discussion — it assisted to en- 
lighten the English people upon the subject of the belief, and 
morality, and condition of the Irish Catholics, and this was all 
that was necessary to the success of Emancipation. 

It would long since have been granted, But that many well- 
meaning persons in England still believed that the Catholics 
hold those monstrous and abominable doctrines which have been 
so perseveringly and so falsely attributed to them — doctrines 
which he detested and disclaimed from the bottom of his soul. 
He spoke of the expediency of trying to procure the co-operation 
of the Catholic peers, peers' eldest sons, and baronets, in the 
application to the legislature ; mentioned the Earl of Fingal, 
in the most respectful terms ; and said it was the strongly ex- 
pressed desire of the committee of gentlemen (above-named) who 
had revised the petition, that no topics should be introduced, 
no words made use of, which could by possibility give offence, 
or create division. 

A.n application could not be made to parliament without ex- 
pense. But a subscription of half-a-crown from each house- 
holder able to pay it, and none other should be applied to, 
would be amply sufficient to create a necessary fund. The* ac- 
count to be open for inspection in the committee ? room of Towns- 
end-street chapel, every Sunday. 

A few weeks after, Catholic gratitude was expressed at an aggregate meeting of the 
body. 

GEEAT CATHOLIC MEETING. 

"The largest and most respectable meeting of Catholics which ever took place in Ireland, 
was held yesterday (Monday, March 1st, 1819), in the old chapel in Mary s- lane -the Right 
Hon. the Earl of Fingal in the chair — for the purpose of expressing, in the most marked 
manner, the gratitude of the Catholic body to the Protestants who have lately come forward 
to petition parliament in their behalf 



60 



SELECT SPEECHES OP 



The following were the chief resolutions adopted : — 

" Resolved — That impressed with a deep sense of the obligations 
which the Protestants of Ireland have conferred on us, their Catholic 
countrymen and brethren, we beg leave to return them our most sin- 
cere and heartfelt thanks for advancing the great objects of our peti- 
tion to the legislature, by their wealth, their numbers, their talents, 
and their religion. 

" Resolved — That while we express our gratitude to the general 
body of our Protestant friends and advocates, we consider ourselves 
particularly indebted to the justice and liberality of the Right Hon. 
Thomas M e Kenny, Lord Mayor, for giving' them an opportunity to ex- 
press their sense of the grievances, we, their Catholic countrymen anu 
brethren, labour under, by which act of justice and liberality he has not 
only conferred an indelible obligation on us, but added a lasting splen - 
dour to the dignity of his office." 

Mr. O'Connell, who came late in the meeting, spoke to the following effect :— 

It would be believed, without difficulty, that he knew no 
language which could adequately convey his thanks for the re- 
ception which he had experienced. It would be a rich reward 
for a life devoted to his country's service. He owned he had 
come there desirous to mingle his feeble sentiments with the 
general voice of his country. 

When he contemplated the elevated character of the noble 
chairman, and those of the other gentlemen surrounding him, 
who gave dignity to the meeting that had assembled for the pur- 
pose of expressing their thanks to their Protestant friends and 
brethren, he was at a loss how to express himself. He was not 
sorry that the sense of feeling should shame the language, rather 
than the language should shame the sense of feeling. He was 
gratified beyond all expression in seeing the noble lord and the 
gentlemen in their proper places — the friends, the patrons, and 
the advocates of Catholic Ireland. It augured well to their 
cause, that the union of their Protestant brethren should have 
brought about so happy a union amongst Catholics themselves. 

When he looked back upon the state of his country ; when 
he looked back upon what she was, and the wretched figure she 
made, for whom God had done so much — sunk in indescribable 
misery, though possessing every natural advantage that could 
make her great and prosperous — with harbours and ports cen- 
tral to the whole world, and sufficiently capacious to receive the 
trade of that world, were it doubled — he was led to inquire, how 
could all this be ? It was by Catholics being opposed to Pro- 
testants and Dissenters — Protestants to Dissenters and Catho- 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ,, M.P. 



lies — and Dissenters, on the other hand, to both Catholics and 
Protestants. 

Bnt the happy, the glorious era, which must be immorta! in 
the history of Ireland, had arrived ; yes, had arrived, and is no 
longer to be wished for, when these odious and devastating dis- 
tinctions were removed. Protestants have assembled and ex- 
pressed their honourable feeling on the claims of their Catholic 
friends and brethren. The first Protestant nobleman of the 
country, the Duke of Leinster, one of whose ancestors was 
brought to the bar of the House of Lords, on the broad plea of 
being " more Irish than the Irish themselves," whose diffidence ! 
became his youthful years — it was delightful to see him shaking | 
off that diffidence, which, if it continued, must impede his poli- 
tical career, and leading on that glorious array of Protestant 
benevolence ; the Earl of Meath, always a friend and patron of 
Ireland ; Charlemont, whose name was music to Irish ears \ | 
Grattan, whose eloquence and virtue raised Ireland into inde- i 
pendence and liberty — the old patriot Grattan, wh;> had given j 
Ireland all she had, and would have made her all she ought to 
be. 

To these he may add a long list of distinguished and pa- j 
triotic friends in the government of the country. He would 
not dispraise even the corporation, much as he had been in the 
practice of censuring their contracted policy, That corporation 
which could boast of such a man as Alderman M'Kenny at its 
head, could not be destitute of virtue — could not be destitute of 
liberality. It had been usually understood that the office of 
chief magistrate conferred dignity on the man. In respect 
to Alderman M'Kenny, the man has conferred dignity on the 
office. 

There were other worthy aldermen and members in the cor- 
poration, and for their sakes he would respect the whole body. 
Many had good and substantial motives for opposing their claims : 
they had sinecure places ; they had active places ; they had 1 
places in expectance ; they had pensions for opposing them ; j 
they had patents for loyalty \ and these, surely, were substan- 
tial reasons. But the liberal and disinterested Protestants, who j 
joined in their petition, were above such selfish considerations* 
and their generous and ardent collision of sentiment, with the \ 
warm gratitude of their Catholic friends and admirers, will raise 
a holy flame that shall warm and enliven the whole island. It j 
was rumoured that a larger standing army than that for Eng- : 
land would be necessary in Ireland, to maintain those exclusively i 

= - — 



02 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



loyal gentlemen in their sinecure places, posts, and pensions. 
But he was extremely proud that they had applied to the army 
to obtain signatures to their petition. It displayed them in 
their true colours to government, and awakened that govern- 
ment to a sense of its danger. He was not in the habit of prais- 
ing the government of Ireland, but he could not withhold his 
best praise from its present rulers. Their conduct was such as 
conciliated the love and approbation of the Catholic people, and 
the liberal of all persuasions. 

He would read the orders issued to the army for their con- 
duct ; they mark the disposition of the present government in 
fair and legible characters, and show at the same instant the 
paltry means that were made use of to promote the ends of in- 
tolerant faction. [Here Mr. O'Connell read a passage or two 
respecting the Orange Lodges and swelling the list by apparent 
signatures.] Such have been the unconstitutional, but abortive 
efforts of the enemies to Ireland's prosperity, efforts which, for 
more than a century, had sunk her in misery and ruin. But 
Irishmen, Protestants as well as Catholics, have at length 
awakened from their lethargy, and a new era of happiness, peace, 
and prosperity opens on the union. No longer shall crowds of 
adventurers, disheartened by the gloomy prospects held out to 
them in this country, be found emigrating to the inhospitable 
wilds of America, in search of that independence and happiness 
which they should find more perfectly and securely at home. 
The co-operation of our Protestant brethren may not give us 
emancipation, but they have given us something better — a union 
of sentiment, love, admiration, and interests. 

Let Catholics continue to deserve, and Protestants to reward 
with their good wishes and confidence, and the motto of Ireland 
in future be — 

" GOD AND OUR NATIVE LAND 1" 
The question was then put on he resolution, and it was carried by acclamation. 

In 1819, the " Irish Legion," for the service of the " patriot" cause in South America, 
against the Spaniards, was formed, Mr. O'Connell taking an active part in assisting General 
D'Everenx, who had been deputed to this country for that purpose. 

It is not necessary for us to intrude here upon the province of general history, to recall 
to our readers' recollection the circumstances under which the Irish South-American 
Legion was formed and went out ; the permission and encouragement' given by the min- 
ister, who sought to " create a new world," to avenge himself for the enmities his policy 
encountered in the old ; the glow of enthusiasm which prevailed in these countries on the 
subject, and the fair but ill-kept promises under which men were led to embark in the 
adventure. 

Mr. O'Connell showed his earnestness and sincerity by risking his second son in it — 
Morgan O'ConnelL then a young boj, who accepted a commission in one of the hussar 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 6* 

regiments of tbe Legion, and went ont under the care, and attached to the personal staff, 
of General D'Evereux, in the following year, 1820. 

Gaily -attended military levees were held at Morrison's, and public dinners were given 
to celebrate the affair, and compliment the parties engaged in it; and in the latter Mr. 
O'Connell was prominently concerned, although we have not met with any report of his 
speeches on those occasions, sufficiently well-given to be inserted here. 



LETTER TO THE CATHOLICS OF IRELAND. 

! Hurrttxg onward through the years of Catholic prostration that intervened between 
1815 and the first dawnings of the real " Catholic Asso&si+on."' we shall interpose as few 
comments as can at all be dispensed with, in the matters we have yet to lay before our 
readers, before approaching the interesting and important era above alluded to. 
The following tetter .^ppeired, as the date tells, in October of the year 1819 :— 

" Fellow-Co qxtrymen— I hope I shall not be deemed pre- 
sumptuous in addressing you. The part I have taken in Catho- 
lic affairs induces me to expect that you will believe me to be 
actuated by no other motives than those of an honest and an ar- 
dent zeal to promote your interests and to attain your freedom. 

" The period is at length arrived when we may ascertain, and 
place beyond any doubt, whether it be determined that we are 
for ever to remain a degraded and inferior class in our native land, 
and so to remain, without any one rational cause, or even any 
one avowable pretext. We may now reduce the enemies of li- 
berty of conscience to this dilemma : either now to grant us 
emancipation, or to proclaim to us, and to the world, that as 
| long as the parliament shall be constituted as it is at present, 
so long all hope of emancipation is to be totally extinguished. 

" To this dilemma our enemies may be reduced ; and it is a 
precious advantage to be able, for the first time in the history 
of Catholic affairs, to place them in a situation in which eman- 
cipation cannot be refused without an avowal of stern, unrelent- 
ing, and inexorable bigotry ; or of worse — of a disposition to 
make use of bigotry as an instrument to perpetuate the divi- 
sions, dissensions, and consequent degradation and oppression of 
Ireland. 

" Our enemies must now be frank and candid. They have not 
at present — and they will not have, unless ive furnish it to them — 
any, the slightest pretence for resisting emancipation. The pre- 
tences which, they hitherto used are all refuted and exploded. 
Where could the man now be found sufficiently audacious as to 
resist our claims on the stale pretexts of Catholic illiberality, 
English hostility, or Irish turbulence ? 



64 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



" Catholic illiberality ! Why, the man who should use that 
argument would now be laughed to scorn. He would be told 
that the first, last, and best examples of religious freedom have 
been given by Catholic states — Maryland, Hungary, and Bava- 
ria would be triumphantly cited. In short, in every Catholic 
country in the world, possessing any share of popular govern- 
ment, liberty of conscience is already established. 

" Even in Spain, the Cortes, of whom two-thirds were priests, 
proclaimed the liberty of the press, and abolished the Inquisi- 
tion. We therefore can well afford to make a present to the 
bigots, of the petticoat-making tyrant of Spain, and of our other 
worthy ally of Portugal or Brazil ; but we can proudly and con- 
fid ently claim for Catholics the palm of liberality. 

u No man can now state as a reason for rejecting our claims, 
the hostility of the people of England. It was a favourite topic 
with the bigoted part of the present administration. They ad- 
mitted that emancipation would conciliate Ireland, but then 
they said that any advantages to be derived from such concilia- 
tion would be more than counterbalanced by the irritation and 
permanent discontent which, they alleged, any concession to the 
Catholics, would create in England. 

" Oh, how egregiously they calumniated the intelligent, ra- 
tional, and honest people of England ! What a powerful refu- 
tation have the English people given to this calumny ? In the 
voice of assembed myriads, they have proclaimed the utter false- 
hood of the base imputation. Seven centuries of oppression are 
already forgiven ; and the English name, which we seldom pro- 
nounced with complacency, begins to sound sweetly in the ears 
of our children. May their rulers imitate the good sense of the 
English people, and speak to the heart of the Irish nation a lan- 
guage which she has never yet heard from an imperial legisla- 
ture ! But whether this useful lesson shall be thrown away on 
the English parliament or notj this much at least is certain— 
that no apprehension can be entertained of irritating the people 
of England by conceding to us our rights. It will gratify their 
generosity as much as it will propitiate our affections and en" 
sure our gratitude. 

" There remained one other pretext to colour the resistance to 
our claims — it was Irish turbulence ; and where no facts of ag- 
gression would be adduced, we were then accused of being tur- 
bulent in words. And this was an argument to resist emanci- 
pation ! Oh, most sapient legislators ! Oh, most profound and 
enlightened statesmen of England ! A nation was to continue 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 65 

in slavery because some half dozen of demagogues or agitators, 
as you were pleased to call us, spoke with bitterness of their op- 
pressions, and taunted with ridicule their oppressors ! 

" But even this poor and paltry pretence is gone by. Not a 
word, not a breath has escaped us for the last three years which 
could be found fault with by the most fastidious delicacy; and 
as to the conduct of the Irish people, it has been and it is exem- 
plary — the most perfect calm reigns around- 

• " Nor leaf is stirred, nor wave is d-iven." 

Not one sound disturbs our 

" Death-like silence and our drear repose." 

All is tranquillity, quietness, and peace. The enemies of every 
liberty, civil as well as religious, say that the English people are 
seeking a revolution. For my part, I utterly disbelieve the as- 
sertion j but I have the right to beg of our enemies to be con- 
sistent, and to admit that the people of Ireland show not the 
least symptom of a revolutionary tendency. 

" No ! all we desire — and, indeed, in common candour, it 
ought now to be acknowledged — is to be admitted into the pale 
of the constitution, and by pouring in fresh strength and young 
blood, to invigorate and to perpetuate genuine constitutional li- 
berty, and to secure that constitution, and the throne on which 
it rests, as its surest and best basis from all attacks whatsoever. 

" In order duly to appreciate the recent and present tranquil- 
lity of Ireland, its causes should be calmly and dispassionately 
investigated. He knows nothing of Ireland who imagines that 
ours is the quiet of content or of happiness. Alas! the sun does 
not shine on so wretched a. country as Ireland. It is not my 
present purpose to discuss the causes of such misery, and still 
less to excite any angry passions against the authors of our pre- 
sent afflictions. I merely state a fact which he who ventures to 
deny does not need refutation. He would deny the daylight at 
noon. I am quite safe in not attributing our tranquillity to the 
absence of wretchedness, poverty, and misery. To what, then, 
is it to be attributed 1 I believe the answer is easy. 

" The frish have been so long disciplined in the school of mis- 
fortune, that they have acquired an experience which may in 
time instruct their teachers. There is an instinctive sensibility 
about them which almost by intuition leads them into the path 
of gratitude and of prudence. In the present instance they 
have demonstrated to the world that they possess those qualities 
to a degree which their enemies could not have believed, and 

VOL II. E 

1 ' < 



66 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



their friends did not perhaps expect. They have hitherto pur- 
sued the strict line of gratitude and of ^prudence ; and if we do 
but continue in the same track, we shall either obtain emanci- 
pation, or learn a new lesson, and adopt, with equal kindness of \ 
feeling, a more decided, and, I think, a more salutary course. 

" There are three distinct causes for the existence of that gra- 
titude in the minds of the Irish Catholics. 

" The first is the manner in which our claims were received in 
the last sessions by the parliament, and especially by the House 
of Commons. The majority against us was merely nominal, and 
wore the appearance of accident. When any measure is sup- 
ported by such a minority as voted for emancipation, it ought 
not to be difficult to foresee its approaching success. Accord- 
ingly, the postponement of our hopes was received by us with j 
some disappointment, but without any irritation ; and to those 
who brought us so near success our feelings of thankfulness were 
lively and powerful. We are still under the impression of these 
feelings. 

" The second source of our gratitude is to be found in the 
conduct of the present government of Ireland, especially that of 
the secretary. We are all aware that the Irish governors are 
the mere servants of their lords and masters in the cabinet of 
England. They have but little in their power of active service. 
They cannot do much active good, but they can do, and the pre- 
sent governors have done, much passive service. They have main- 
tained an honourable and just neutrality ; they have carefully 
abstained from fanning the flame of bigotry ; they have given 
no countenance, no protection to the exciters of discord — to the 
promoters of religious rancour. In truth, bigotry is an exotic 
in Ireland, and requires the hot-bed of Castle corruption and 
Castle influence in order to rear it into poisonous maturity. 
Take from it that corrupt influence, and it withers at once, as it 
has now done, before the native and unadulterated breath of 
Irish kindliness. The neutrality of the Castle has accordingly 
put an end to a fertile source of dissension and irritation, and 
for that neutrality the members of the Irish government deserve, 
and have obtained, our sincere thanks. 

" But the third and best" cause of our gratitude remains to be 
told. It is to be found in the conduct of the Protestants of Ire- 
land; all that Ireland can boast of Protestant rank, fortune, 
talent and independence, came forward to assert on our behalf 
the great principle of religious liberty. Amongst the glorious 
constellation of names, friends to liberality, stands pre-eminent 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



67 



that of the late lord mayor of Dublin, Alderman M' Kenny. 
For the first time in Irish history, a lord mayor of Dublin pre- 
sided at a meeting intended and calculated to promote genuine 
loyalty and cordial conciliation. 

" I confess the recollection of the efforts made by the highest 
Protestant worth in Ireland to procure our emancipation, fills 
my mind with the most powerful sensations of gratitude ; but 
there is, a»fter all', something more exquisitely soothing in the 
exertions of a more humble class — I mean the Protestant inha- 
bitants of Dublin, many of them in the lowest situations in life, 
who, at their parish meetings, either followed or helped to lead 
the efforts of the superior ranks of society. It is to those pa- 
rish meetings — it is to this domestic exhibition of Protestant 
kindness and genuine liberality of sentiment, that I look with 
the fondest affection. Here were found my Protestant country- 
men, in the gratification of their unadulterated hearts, showing 
the true spirit of Christianity, by doing to others what they would 
desire to have done to themselves. I honestly believe that the 
extinction of religious feuds throughout nine-tenths of the land, 
which we have witnessed for the last nine or ten months, has been 
principally owing to the certainty of reconciliation which the j 
Protestant parish meetings held out. 

" I do not mean to detract from the merits of the Duke of 
Leinster and the lord mayor, and the other noblemen and gen- 
tlemen who evinced their patriotic liberality. Their conduct 
was above all praise ; but the good feeling exhibited itself still 
in a more useful channel amongst those classes of life who know 
not how to disguise, and who cannot mitigate their sentiments. 
It was, indeed, the first blossom of Irish unanimity, and has borne 
good fruit, in the extinction of ancient animosities, and in the pro- 
duction of a disposition towards tranquillity, peace, and good wilL 

"The Irish people have hitherto acted from these impulses. 
Whilst England has been agitated to her centre, Ireland has re- 
mained perfectly tranquil. Let our conduct not be mistaken. 
Let it not be imagined that we are insensible to the blessings of 
universal liberty, or careless of the unjust state of parliamentary 
representation — quite the reverse ; but we deemed it right in 
gratitude to our Protestant neighbours — in duty to ourselves 
and our children, to abstain from any conduct which might en- 
danger the advantages of our present situation. We have taken 
away all pretexts from our enemies. Let us continue the same 
line of conduct until oar fate is decided in this session. I say, our 
fate — because if we are now rejected, who can ever hope again 1 



GS SELECT SPEECHES OF 



" Now we have the Protestants of Ireland for us ; now we have 
. the people of England for us ; now we have the multitudinous 
examples of Catholic liberality for us ; now we are, in our con- 
duct without reproach — in our tranquillity exemplary. In what 
way can our petition be rejected 1 It can be rejected only by 
reason of future misconduct ; it can be rejected only by our own 
fault or our own folly. This is my firm and decided opinion ; 
perhaps I am mistaken ; but it surely is worth while to try the j 
experiment. 

" The session of parliament commences in one short month. I 
There is not one moment to be lost. Perhaps it would be wise ( j 
immediately to address the Prince Regent ; that I submit to your j i 
consideration. At all events, it is obviously our policy to press 
forward our question at the earliest possible period next session. 

" Let us, then, my countrymen, meet ; let us prepare our pe- 
titions ; let those petitions be numerous ; let them be unanimous, 
and confined to the single object of emancipation. We shall, 
probably, succeed ; but if we do not, at least we shall have de- 
served to succeed ; and we shall have the farther advantage, that of 
ascertaining the hopelessness of again petitioning for emancipa- 
tion. 

J " You will be told that you should despise emancipation as a 
j j minor and unworthy consideration, and join the almost universal , 
| cry of reform. Do not be carried away by any such incitement, i 
| No man is more decidedly a friend to reform than I am. In I 
| theory I admit the right to universal suffrage ; and I admit that 
j curtailing the duration of parliament would be likely to add to 
| ; its honesty. Nay, I am ready to go to the fullest possible prac- 
jl tical length to obtain parliamentary reform. But we have a 
j previous duty to perform ; a favourable opportunity now presents 
I itself to add to the general stock of liberty, by obtaining our 
emancipation ; and the man would, in my judgment, be a false 
patriot, who, for the chance of uncertain reform, would fling away j 
the present most propitious moment to realize a most ( importunt 
i and almost certain advantage. 

" Such, my countrymen, are the honest opinions — such is the 
^conscientious advice of one of yourselves. I may be mistaken ; 
but I feel certain that you will admit the purity of the motives 
which actuate me. 

" Should, indeed, our present petition be rejected — should we 
be again causelessly and capriciously scouted by the present par- 
liament, why, then, I, for one, shall certainly be the last to advise 
i you further to pursue what will then be demonstrated to be a 



DANIEL O'COXNELL, ESQ., M.P. GO 

helpless and a hopeless course, and although I shall not advise 
you to throw the sword or the pike into the scale of reform, I 
will be ever ready to exert all that I may possibly possess of in- 
fluence — if any I do possess — to induce }^ou to join in a peace- 
able and constitutional pursuit of that reform without which we 
must, if we are now rejected, ever despair of emancipation. 

" In the meantime, let us make one last effort — let it be uni- 
versal, unanimous, single. And let us hope that the prayer of 
our respectful and dutiful petition will be attended to, and that 
the British legislature will see the wisdom of conciliating the 
people of Ireland, of gratifying the people of England, and reci- 
procating the sentiments and examples of Christian charity held 
out to them by Catholic legislators and Catholic nations. 

" I am, fellow-countrymen, your faithful and obedient Servant, 

"Daniel O'Coxnell. 

u Mention -square, October 22nd, 1819." 



"CATHOLIC SUB-SHERIFFS. 

(FREEMAN, 24TH FEBRUARY, 1820.) 

We "have been favoured with the following opinion, given on a subject of such importance, 
that, we deem no apology necessary for its publication : — 

" OPINION OF DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ. 

" This is a subject which I have considered attentively ; and 
my mm opinion is distinctly formed on it. But that opinion 
must be taken subject to what I call the practical qualification 
after mentioned. ^ 

w The quaere put to me has a double aspect ; and, in truth, 
involves two questions. The first is, whether a Catholic is in- 
capable of being sub-sheriff ? The second is, whether there be 
any penalty attached to his acting as such 1 

" I shall begin with the latter, because that may be disposed 
of at once. There is not any penalty whatsoever imposed on a 
Catholic for acting as, or being sub-sheriff. 

" This is a point on which no lawyers can differ, and it is 
highly important in deciding the other question. 

" With regard to the first, I am of opinion that a Catholic is 
capable of being sub-sheriff. 

" This, however, being a point upon which difference of opinion 
does subsist, and, in truth, one in which the contrary opinion to 



70 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



mine has been generally entertained, I deem it right to give the 
reasons which induce me to form my judgment on the subject. 

" It is very imnortant to observe that the general principle 
on which the penal laws against Catholics created exclusion was, 
by interposing oaths as qualifications, which no Catholic could, 
with a safe conscience, take. It was not an exclusion to the. Ca- 
tholic directly, and as such it was a consequential exclusion which 
those statutes created — an exclusion in consequence of not tak- 
ing those oaths. 

" The Catholics, therefore, would not have been excluded any 
more than the Protestant, by the direct operation of the general 
penal laws. Both were liable to the same penalty for not qualify- 
ing ; and both were rendered equally secure from the effect of 
incurring such penalty by the annual indemnity act. 

" Thus far the matter is plain under the general penal statutes, 
and if the question rested on the general law alone, there could 
be no doubt. 

" But there is a particular statute on this subject — namely, the 
1st of Geo. I. c. 20 ; the section is the 4th. 

" I admit that such section does, at first sight appear decisive 
against a Catholic being sub -sheriff ; and it is the apparent force 
of that enactment, and the general spirit of bigotry in which the 
penal code was administered, which have caused the idea to be 
universally received that a Catholic cannot be sub-sheriff. It 
remains to be seen whether the idea be well-founded. The sta- 
tute in question was passed to compel convert Protestants to 
educate their children in the Protestant religion, considering 
none other as legal Protestants. Such is the effect of the? 2nd and 
3rd sections of the act. Then the 4th section commences with 
a proviso and enactment, that no person shall be capable of being 
sub-sheriff, or sheriff's clerk, who shall not have been for five years 
before a Protestant according to that act. Now, the meaning of 
such enactment appears clearly to point out a particular class of 
Protestants, who are excluded ; and this is placed, in my humble 
opinion, beyond cavil by the remaining part of the sentence, for 
the entire section is but one sentence, which says — " And that all 
and every person or persons offending herein shall he subject" — to 
what punishment ? Why, to be considered as a Papist. 

" It seems, therefore, to my mind, quite plain that the act 
cannot create that as a crime in a Papist, as to which every 
person who should commit it was to be punished by being con- 
stituted by law a I'apist. 

" The construction of the section, therefore, is, that it created 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



71 



j an incapacity in, and inflicted a penalty on, a particular de- 
I scription of ' Protestants ; but that it was not meant or intended 
to operate against, and has provided no kind of punishment for 
Papists offending therein. 

" The truth is, that abominable code was dictated by a viru- 
lent, but a muddy spirit of bigotry ; its enactments were, in 
very many instances, excessively slovenly ; and there exist not J 
a few instances in which the legislature, in its contemptuous 
hatred for Catholics, took for granted that they were incapable 
of employments, although no such incapacity really existed. 
The case of Catholic schools is a familiar instance. 

"The statute of 1793 does not alter, or affect to alter, the 
law as against the Catholics. Indeed, it would operate decidedly 
in their favour in this particular, according to the grammatical 
construction of the premisal in that statute. See the 9th section 
of the 33rd Geo. III. c. 21. That section uses the disjunctive, 
or, as to all the excluded offices, until it comes to the office of ] 
second and third sergeants. It then takes up the or again, till 
it comes to the generals on the staff, and it uses and as to she- 
riffs and sub- sheriffs. Now, if grammar be preserved, it is the 
cumulation of those offices which is prohibited, and the indivi- 
dual office is not within the exclusion, unless in a penal and dis- 
abling section, and shall be read precisely as if it were or, and 
that, too, where there is good sense in leaving it in its conjunc- 
tive meaning, and where the legislature, in the same sentence, 
has repeatedly used the disjunctive, or, in its natural and ap- ) 
propriate meaning. But in forming my opinion on the general 
topic, I think it right at present not to lay any stress on the 
statute of 1793. 

" I have already said that I gave this opinion, subject to a 
practical qualification. It is this — The spirit of the penal laws 
has survived the existence of the greater part of them ; and 
although that spirit is much mitigated, it still exists in 
body and in pressure. The penal statutes are, therefore, less 
likely to be fairly canvassed than any other ; and without in- 
sinuating individual reproach, I must say, that in practice I 
should feel less confidence in a favourable construction upon this 
than upon any other subject. 

" There can be no doubt that a Catholic can be sheriff's clerk, 
and can assist the sheriff in every particular, as such ; leaving 
between such sheriff's clerk and a regular sub-sheriff little dis* 
tinction, save in name. 

u Daniel O'Connell. 

•■ 23rd February. 1820, Merrion square.** 



72 



SELECT SPEECHES OP 



SPEECH AT THE ROYAL EXCHANGE MEETING, 
RELATIVE TO THE DUBLIN ELECTION. 

Tuesday, June, 13th, 1820. 

We are met on this melancholy occasion to celebrate the ob- 
sequies of the greatest man Ireland ever knew. The widowed 
land of his birth, in mourning over his remains, feels it is a na- 
tion's sorrow, and turns with the anxiety of a parent to alleviate 
the grief of the orphan he has left. The virtues of that great 
patriot shone brilliant, pure, unsullied, ardent, unremitting, 
glowing. Oh 1 I should exhaust the dictionary three times told, 
ere I could enumerate the virtues of Grattan. 

In 1778, when Ireland was shackled, he reared the standard 
of independence ; and in 1782 he stood forward as the champion 
of his country, achieving gloriously her independence ! Earnestly, 
unremittingly, did he labour for her — bitterly did he deplore her 
Wrongs — and if man could have prevented her ruin — if man could 
have saved her, Grattan would have done it ! 

After the disastrous act of Union, which met his most reso- 
lute and most determined opposition, he did not suffer despair 
to creep over his heart, and induce him to abandon her, as was 
the case with too many others. No ; he remained firm to his 
duty in the darkest adversity — -he continued his unwearying ad- 
vocacy of his country's rights. Of him it may be truly said in 
his own words — ■ 

u He watched by the cradle of his country's freedom — he fol- 
lowed her hearse !" 

His life, to the very period of his latest breath, has been 
spent in her service — and he died, I may even say, a martyr in 
her cause. 

Who shall now prate to me of religious animosity ? To any 
such I will answer, by pointing to the honoured tomb of Grat- 
/tan, and, I will say — ''There sleeps a man, a member of the 
Protestant community, who died in the cause of his Catholic 
fellow-countrymen !" 

I have been told that they would even rob us of his remains 
1 —-that the bones of Grattan are to rest in a foreign soil ! Rest 1 
No ! the bones of Grattan would not rest any where but in their 
kindred earth. Gentlemen, I trust that we shall yet meet tc 
interchange our sentiments of mixed affliction and admiration 
over a monument of brass and marble, erected to the memory 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



of the man whose epitaph is written in the hearts of his country- ! 
men ! 

Gentlemen, I do not come here with a womanly feeling, merely 
to weep over our misfortune — though heaven is my witness, that 
my heart is heavy. I come not here to pay a vain tribute to 
the dead. To do justice to the name of Grattan, would require 
an eloquence equal to his own ; but I ask myself, I ask you, 
how we can best atone and compensate our country for the loss 
she has sustained ? It is by uniting as brothers and as Irish- 
men, in returning a representative for our city, not unworthy of 
filling the place of him who raised the standard of universal 
charity and Christian benevolence. Yet, in this hallowed mo- 
ment of sorrow, ere yet his sacred remains have been consigned 
to earth, the spirit of discord would light the torch of fanaticism, 
and set up the wild halloo of bigotry and persecution. " May 
God in heaven forgive them, they know not what they do." 

Gentlemen, will they call this religion — will they profane the 
sacred name of religion — the religion of Grattan — by such a 
presumptuous assertion, such an invidious distinction 1 They 
will not, they cannot. 

No ; gentlemen, I trust for the sake of human nature, that 
filthy lucre is their object — personal pelf their motive. 

Mr. Chairman, we have a duty to perform ; two candidates 
offer themselves to our consideration — of one, perhaps, it is suf- 
ficient to say, that he is the son of Grattan. Of the other — 
who is he '? His name is Thomas Ellis ! ! 

Well, gentlemen, where are the credentials of this man, who 
would presumptuously fill the greatest niche ever lefc vacant 
in the history of our country 1 Of course, he is a man of elo- 
quence, talent and knowledge, and has unremittingly attended 
to the wants and wishes of Ireland. He has, I believe, practised 
at the bar, but we have never seen a volume of his speeches, 
like the eloquent Phillips, nor have we ever heard of his talents, 
and I suppose it was in his room, two -pair of stairs backwards, 
i in the Four Courts, that he has studied the prosperity of Ire- 
land ! 

Well, gentlemen, has he knowledge ? Alas ! here we find \ ' 
him equally deficient. Oh ! but we require too much. If. then, 
he has neither eloquence, talent, patriotism, nor knowledge, per- 
haps he has leisure ? No ! the duties of his situation, for which 
he gave ten thousand pounds, require his constant and unre- 
mitting attention, and really it is but fair, that he should re- 
ceive some interest for his money. But, gentlemen, what does 



74 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



he say for himself ] m I shall read his own words for you [Here 
Counsellor O'Connell read a part of Mr. Ellis's address from a 
newspaper.] So gentlemen, he tells you himself, that " profes- 
sions are always suspicious, and, in general, insincere f and he 
proceeds in the next sentence to make professions ! He first tells 
you that they are suspicious and insincere, and he then offers 
them to you ! ! ! Gentlemen, Caesar's wife should not only be 
pure, but she should be above suspicion. Is Ireland so fallen, 
that this man, thrust forward by a faction, is to be forced 
upon a people. Can so savage a faction be found, that at the 
shrine of Grattan, would seek to foment the bloody strife of 
Christian animosity ? 

Gentlemen, I have seen my country a nation, with her peers 
in the land, and her senators about us ; we have lived to see 
her a province. Our petitions are forwarded through the post- 
office, and even now bigotry and persecution would bow before 
their filthy idol. Yet, in speaking of the present state of my 
country, perhaps I may be permitted to pay the humble tribute 
of my praise to Earl Talbot, and the Chief Secretary, Mr. Charles 
Grant, for their impartial conduct as connected with its govern- 
ment. I speak not this as seeking any place for my cousin, or 
any other relative — I leave that to those police officers who had 
better adhere to their stations, than interfere in the election of 
a candidate to represent this city. I would not see the repre- 
sentation of this city made the property of a stationer, or paper 
manufacturer to give to whom he pleases. 

Gentlemen, young Mr. Grattan has always acted an open, 
upright, honest, candid Ieish part ; he bears a name that can 
never be forgotten or neglected in Ireland ; he is the only legacy 
his father has left to his country, and where is the Irishman 
who will refuse to act as executor % 

Gentlemen, it may be asked, why is not young Mr. Grattan 
here ! Oh ! let no man reproach him that he is not here. Alas ! 
he is paying the last sad duties to his lamented father. 

An anonymous letter has just been put into my hands, gen- 
tlemen, convening a meeting of the friends of Mr. Ellis, and 
calling upon them to support him as the most loyal and con- 
stitutional candidate. I ask you who is the most loyal man ? 
Is it not him who would support the dignity, and strengthen 
the security of the throne, by encircling it with the affections 
of the people 1 I ask you now who is the least loyal man ? /g 
it not him who would weaken the resources of the constitution. 



DANIEL O CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



75 



by shutting out a great portion of the subjects of the realm 
from a just and equal enjoyment of its advantages 1 

But, gentlemen, this letter is even misspelled, and that in 
the very first sentence. [Here Mr. O'Connell noticed, in the 
letter, the spelling of one word " canditate."] The letter con- 
cludes, by requesting the friends of Mr. Ellis to wear Orange 
ribbons in their breasts. I conjure my countrymen to wear no 
party emblems, but let the name of Ireland be engraven on their ! 
hearts. 

•I ask all those around me do they love their country ? Let 
every man that hears me carry my question home with him. I 
entreat you all, by one great effort, to save your country even 
now, whilst the children of her manufacturers are starving, whilst 
her shop-keepers are without business, her merchants shuddering, 
and her banks breaking. Still, still, she is worth saving — worth ! 
Oh ! what is she not worth, possessing the greenest land, the 
finest harbours, and the richest verdure 1 Celebrated even in 
song, for the beauty of her vales, possessing a people brave, 
generous, and hospitable, is she not worth saving ? Gentlemen, 
we have a duty to perform, let no man shrink from it — it is not 
mine alone, but yours (looking round to different gentlemen), 
and yours, and yours, and yours. Let us unite to put down 
bigotry — it is the cause of our country that is at stake ; let 
us rally round that cause, and let our motto be " Grattan and 
Ireland ! 

In giving utterance to these sentiments, which were enthusiastically applauded, Mr. 
O'Connell was speaking the sincerest feelings of his heart. It had, unfortunately, been 
necessary for him, in the strict discharge of his duty to Ireland, to differ from that greas 
man on more than one occasion, and to differ very widely too. The " veto," or " securi- 
ties" question, was a notable instance in this respect, as the reader has seen not many 
pages back. But he ever recognized to the fullest, the genius and the great services of 
Henry Grattan, and often took pleasure in declaring in private, as well as many times in 
public, that he looked upon his own efforts as the mere carrying out of the good work of 
Irish legislative independence, begun by Grattan in 1782. 

The " veto" question to which we have just made reference, now began, in some measure, 
to be stirred again, and on Wednesday the 14th of J une, 1815, a meeting of Catholics was 
held at D'Arcy's tavern, to consider and decide what member of parliament should be 
entrusted with the petitions of the Catholics, now that Mr. Grattan was gone. Catholic 
opinion, though very feeble in its reviving efforts, had yet made sufficient advance to 
secure that no one should be chosen for this trust, whose sentiments were not in accord- 
ance with' those of the sound Catholic majority in Ireland, on the subject of "securities, * 
Some chance omissions in the report produced the following letter from Mr. O'Conn^lL 



76 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



CATHOLIC AFFAIRS., 

TO THE EDITOR OF THE DUBLIN EVENING POST. 

Memon-squarc, 17th June 1S20. 

" Sir — The short report of the proceedings of the Catholics 
who met at D'Arcy's, on Wednesday last, which you gave in 
your last paper, is quite correct as far as it goes ; but it does not 
contain the whole truth. It is, I think, my duty to give the pub- 
lic some further information on the subject. This duty seems 
to me imperative — because I think we are upon the eve of ano- 
ther struggle — to preserve from all encroachment the discipline 
of the Catholic Church in Ireland. 

" I may be much mistaken, but it is my firm and decided 
belief, that the greatest peril which that Church has in these 
latter years encountered now awaits her. I may also be laughed 
at for raising the cry of ' the Church in danger ;' but I am quite 
content to endure any portion of ridicule, provided I am of any 
utility in rousing the Catholic people of Ireland from the de- 
structive apathy in which they are now sunk. 

" My present design is to give a few facts to the public ; I shall, 
in another letter, with your permission, go into further details. 

" The gentlemen who have been in the habit of meeting at 
D'Arcy's, in Essex street, and many who have not been in the 
habit of meeting there, have, on the death of Mr. Grattan, re- 
solved to give him a successor. We have, I believe, no kind of 
authority for doing so, save our wish to avoid the difficulty of 
another aggregate meeting. A committee was accordingly ap- 
pointed to consider of and report a fit person to present our 
petition tp parliament. The Committee met on Monday last, 
and, after a good deal of discussion, these three resolutions were 
unanimous!]/ passed : — 

" 1st — That a delegation from the Committee should wait on Mr. 
Plunket, respectfully to inquire if he would support the prayer of our 
petition for relief, unconnected with, and unqualified by, any ecclesi- 
astical restrictions or regulations. 

66 2nd — That such delegation should report, in writing, to the Com- 
mittee the answer of Mr. Plunket. 

" 3rd — That in case Mr. Plunket should not think fit to give a dis- 
tinct answer in the affirmative — the Committee would report the Knight 
of Kerry, as a fit person to present our petition." 

" Such were, in substance, and, as I recollect, in words the 
resolutions of Monday last ; I give them from memory, but, I 
Delieve, with a good deal of accuracy. 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



u The delegation was appointed ; they had the honour of an 
interview with Mr. Plunket ; they were received by him with 
great courtesy, and they obtained from him a written reply 

" Of that reply I have a copy ■ it was. read repeatedly at the 
last meeting, but it cannot be published ; it is impossible we 
should publish it, and I deeply and bitterly regret that it is so, 
because it contains matter, in my humble judgment, of vital im- 
portance. But it is impossible to publish it, for this reason, 
that in answer to a question from one of the delegation on the 
subject of publishing, Mr. Plunket expressed an opinion that it 
ought not to be published, and the delegation expressly agreed 
not to publish it. This is a compact which cannot be violated. 

" I am, therefore, constrained from giving any of its contents. 
But I may say what it does not contain — and it certainly does not 
contain an affirmative reply to the question in the foregoing first 
resolution — or any thing at all like an affirmative reply to that 
question. The duty, consequently, of the Committee was at an 
end — they were bound by their own unanimous resolution to 
have reported the Knight of Kerry, as the person to be applied 
to, in order to present our petition. That was their plain duty 
under these circumstances — ' Sed Diis aliter visum.'' Without 
rescinding the former resolution, a motion was made to report 
Mr. Plunket — a division took place — there were seven for the 
motion — seven against it — and it was decided in the affirmative 
by the casting vote of the chairman (Lord Fingal). Upon this 
contradictory proceeding, some other gentlemen, with me, seceded 
from the Committee, and repaired to the general meeting, where 
I moved an adjournment until Wednesday next, the 21st instant, 
which, after a long and most desultory debate, was carried in the 
i affirmative, as already mentioned in your paper. 

" There cannot be a more efficient advocate than Mr. Plunket 
— I have no difficulty in saying that he is beyond any compari- 
son the most powerful advocate in either country — England or 
Ireland. The only possible objection to him can arise from his 
opinions on the subject of legislating, not for the civil rights, 
but for the religious doctrine or discipline of the Catholic Church 
in Ireland — no man in existence more fit for the one, and there 
I cannot, in my judgment, be any person more unfit for the other ; 
and the reason why I think him thoroughly unfit to legislate for 
the religion or discipline of the Catholic Church is one which 
does him no discredit. It is because he entertains conscientious 
obiections to the allowing our ecclesiastical discipline to remain 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



in its present state ; I respect his conscience, but I will preserve 
my own. 

" To my judgment, no emancipation can be of any avail, but 
such as shall be satisfactory to all parties. It should not parti- 
cipate in any, even the slightest degree of a victory by the Ca- 
tholics over the Protestants. On the contrary, it should come as 
a kind concession from the Protestants, and be received in the 
spirit of affectionate gratitude by the Catholics. It should, in 
short, be precisely similar to the relief granted in 1778 — to that 
conceded in 1782 — to that bestowed in 1792 — and, finally, to 
that of 1793. In those years there was no mention of any in- 
terference with the discipline of tne Catholic Church. The Irish 
parliament felt that, as Protestants, they were incompetent to 
form a just notion of the details of our religion, and as legisla- 
tors, that the best and only security for the state was in our 
affections and allegiance. 

" The experience of upwards of forty years has shown that the 
Irish course of emancipaton was as secure as it was beneficent. 
Why should it be now departed from 1 

" For the present, I shall only add — that our first duty seems 
to be to procure emancipation as Catholics, if we can — and if we 
cannot, then, as Catholics, to remain unemancipated. In either 
event, to remain Catholics in discipline as well as in doctrine. 
€i I have the honour to be, your obedient servant, 

" Daniel O'Connell." 



CATHOLIC MEETING. 

THURSDAY, JUNE 22ND, 1820. 



The adjourned Catholic meeting was held at D'Arcy's, in Essex-street, on Thursdiy. 
It was so numerously attended that there was scarcely accommodation in the house; tba 
rooms, lobbies, stair-head, &c, were all crowded. 

John O'Connell, Esq. * having been called to the chair — 

Counsellor O'Connell' rose and addressed tho meeting nearly to the following effect: — 

Gentlemen, I hold in my hand some resolutions, which I beg 
leave to preface by a few observations. I deem it necessary to 
submit these resolutions to the sense of the meeting, previous to 



* Brother to Mr. O'Connell, for many years a resident landed proprietor of the county 
Kerry, greatly and justly esteemed and respected, and now (November, 1853), recently 
dead at Havre, in Fiance. 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



70 



the question on Mr. Plunket's being entrusted with our petition 
being put ; and should these resolutions be carried, I shall move 
that a copy of them be forwarded to the Right Hon. the Earl of 
Donoughmore, and also to whoever shall be selected to present 
our petition to the House of Commons. 

Gentlemen, the Catholic prelates and the Catholic people 
have already declared that they will not accept of Emancipation 
interfering in the slightest degree with the discipline of the Ca- 
tholic Church. It is now for this meeting to say whether it will i 
act in direct opposition to the Catholic prelates and the Catho- 
lic people, their objections to the veto being unaltered and 
unalterable. 

I trust, gentlemen, that this question may be fairly discussed, 
and without any warmth or recrimination ; and I protest, for 
myself, that I do not mean in anything that may fall from me, 
the slightest disrespect to any man. (Hear, hear.) And I may 
be permitted to say, that if offence be taken, when completely 
unintentional on my part, it must arise from some consciousness 
of impropriety. , 

For myself, I seek neither place, pension, nor power ; and I 
protest against any vetoistical arrangements, which we cannot 
accede to without violating our express engagement with the 
Catholic people, and going in direct opposition to the Catholic 
bishops. Gentlemen, it is my wish to avoid topics of irritation, 
but the time has arrived when it is the paramount duty of every 
Catholic to preserve the purity of his religion from that most 
obnoxious of all measures — the veto. 

Gentlemen, you have been told — Mr. Plunket has told you 
— that " conditions and securities are just and necessary." For 
the first time, gentlemen, you have been told this by any person 
advocating your cause. Mr. Plunket has, in this, gone farther 
than any of your former advocates. They only said that they 
would agree to conditions to obtain Emancipation, but Mr. 
Plunket tells you that it is his own fixed opinion that " condi- 
tions and securities are just and necessary." Is not this plain 1 
Does any gentlemen wink so strongly that he cannot see this 
meant an infringement on the doctrine of the Catholic church 1 
Mr. Plunket requires conditions and securities. Mr. Woulfe said 
on the last day we met, that he would tell us what these condi- 
tions and securities were, or to what they related, but he sat down, 
gentlemen, without giving that most desired explanation. 

Some gentlemen have mentioned " domestic nomination 
but, Mr. Chairman, the Catholic bishops have already declared 



80 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



that any interference of the British parliament in the nomina- 
tion of _ the Catholic clergy would lead to schism. It has been 
said that Mr. Plunket does not mean the veto. Can any man 
in solitude and silence consider on it, and have a second idea 
upon the subject ? Gentlemen, he does mean it. Much has 
been said of Mr. Plunket's private opinions. Anything of this 
kind falls upon me like the idle wind. I stand here upon his 
own express words, " that conditions and securities are just 
and necessary." I repeat it, What can this mean, except veto ? 
The Catholic people have already given their allegiance ; they 
have given, through taxation, their property ; they have also 
given their blood and their oaths. What is there in addition — 

' what else remains — except their religion ? I will not be led 
away by the declamation of any gentleman, but meet them fairly 
on this question foot to foot, You. have given your allegiance, 

! your property, your lives, and your oaths ; and I now ask you, 
and I ask them, what else remains ? Nothing, gentlemen, but 
your religion. 

On the 26th of May, 1814, the Catholic prelates met; they 
j then denied, as their ancestors had done, the authority of par- 
! liament to legislate for their religion. That opinion was con- 
firmed by the public document of a synod held on the 24th 
August, 1814, which declared — 

" That any power vested in the Crown of Great Britain relating to 
the spiritual or ecclesiastical regulations of the Catholic religion must 
essentially injure, and would eventually subvert, the principles of that 
religion." 

If, as has been said, we are on the eve of Emancipation, can 
any Catholic be found so eager for his mess of pottage, that he 
would greedily swallow the poison with the food. The aggre- 
gate meetings, over and over, have condemned the veto — the 
I Catholic prelates have condemned it ; and now, when Mr. Plun- 
ket differs with them, it is for you to say whether you will adopt 
his opinion or theirs. 

The depression of the country has caused a change within the 
last three years, that it might have taken a century, under a 
different state of circumstances, to bring about. Many irom 
their own wants, and from the general distress, have been obliged 
to quit their country, and seek in distant lands that subsistence 
which their exertions at home have proved ineffectual to procure. 
We are now acting with a new class of men, and it is necessary 
to arouse them from the state of apathy in which they appear 
to be sunk. 



i)ANTEL o'CONNELL, ESQ., M.F. 



S! 



Now, while Spain is free — France, Germany, and other coun- 
tries on the Continent in a state of alarm and inquietude, por- 
tending, perchance, their deliverance also — it is impossible that 
the people of these kingdoms can be retained in abject and un- 
constitutional subjection and prostration. In this country the 
bigots at last are compelled to confess among themselves the im- 
possibility of long withholding emancipation ; and so they would 
fain discount it. They would fritter away its value as much as 
they could ; force failing them, they are resorting to every ex- 
pedient of miserable and odious fraud. Look to the Kildare- 
street Society, established for the education of Irish children — 
necessarily of Catholic children. Watch their efforts and man- - 
ceuvres ! See how insidiously they go to work !— how active 
and persevering in their efforts to pervert the youthful mind of 
Ireland! Look to the tract distributions, and the proselytizing 
societies of every name and shape, in every quarter, and say, do 
I allude to things of imagination i Are not these facts, realities, 
most necessary to be duly appreciated, attended to, and coun- 1 1 
teracted ? How necessary, then, that we should show at least I 
an equal vigilance with our enemies ! 

I trust that we have still sufficient allies in our own camp to 
pat down, by their resistance this day, any and every attempt, 
under whatever form or colour, that is being made to interfere, 
in the slightest degree, with the established regulations of the 
religion to which we are ever inviolably attached. 

Gentlemen, I shall now read the resolutions. They are as 
follows : — 

" Resolved — That the Catholic people of Ireland adhere strictly 
to the sentimenta contained in the resolutions of the Catholic prelates 
in 1813 and 1814, against any interference by the Crown, or by the 
Legislature, in the regulations of the Catholic religion." 

The resolutions in question were quoted. They have been given already in this work. 

n That thi3 meeting concurring therein, do hereby declare that, as 
Catholics, they cannot accept of any measure of relief as a boon, which 
may be accompanied by conditions having a tendency to destroy, or 
even to injure their religion. 

" 2. Resolved — That the Protestant parliament of Ireland, hi the 
years 1778, 1782, 1792, and 1793, conceded to their Catholic fellow- 
subjects various important privileges and rights, and that they did so 
without requiring any other security than the oaths and affections of 
the Catholics of Ireland. 

6i And that experience has fully justified the benevolent policy of the 
Irish Protestant parliament in that respect; and that we do seek for, and 
desire to obtain the remaining liberties and rights still withheld from 

vol. n« F 



82 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



us by the penal code, upon no other terms than such as were deeded 
sufficient by, and satisfactory to, the Irish parliament." 

Two more resolutions followed, but, haying t^iven the principal, we resume Mr. o'Con- 
neli's speech : — 

Such are the resolutions, gentlemen, which I mean to submit 
to the present meeting, and I beg of you to consider the urgent 
importance of their receiving your sanction. 

It has been asserted of me that my objecting to Mr. Plunket 
is the mere fruit and consequence of private animosity. Of him 
I am bound and happy to say, that although upon politics we 
unhappily differ, I have ever received from that gentleman — ■ 
and trust I have endeavoured, so far as lay in my power, to re< 
turn them — the most marked civility, kindness, and courtesy. 
But even if I had received a slight, they know little indeed of 
me who could for a moment suppose that I would ever hesitate 
to sacrifice any private feeling of resentment or annoyance to 
the permanent interest of either my country or my religion. 

But, gentlemen, the tribunal before which your advocate 
lays your petition, has not the means of understanding the 
religion on which it has to decide. They have sworn that 
our religion is impious and idolatrous. That oath still con- 
tinues, harrowing up our inmost feelings. I will not, I can- 
not trust myself to dilate on this subject. The Edinburgh 
Review, gentlemen, the liberal Edinburgh Review, speaks of 
the "harlot embraces" of the Catholic Church, in terms fit 
only for some prurient tale of prostitution ! Pamphlets, maga- 
zines, histories, newspapers, novels, tales, <&c, &c. — they are all 
at work — all assailing — all endeavouring to misrepresent and 
blacken the character of our holy religion. Will you go to the 
men who have taken the oaths I speak of — who profess the hos- 
tile principles and opinions that perverted literature thus labours 
to spread and confirm — will you go to them to decide upon a 
question of such vital importance ? 

* * * * % % 

["Here (says the newspaper report) a gentleman in the body of the meeting cri^t 1 . 
* Why go to them at all ?'] 

" Mr. O'Connell proceeded— 

Some gentleman has asked, ' why go to them at all V I answer, certainly not at all, 
certainly never, for any interference in the sacred concerns of our religion. We address 
them as the highest authority recognised by the laws of those countries, for a full anil 
unqualified restoration of our rights." 

A discuscion of some length ensued after this speech, but resulted in the adoption of 
Mr. O'ConnelTs resolutions. 



DANIEL O CONNELL ESQ., M.P. 83 
Tiv? following appears in the newspapers of the month of July, 1320 : — 

* TO THE MAYOR, SHERIFFS, AXD CITIZENS OF THE 
CITY OF LIMERICK. 

♦'Merrion Square, Dablin, 14th July, 1820. 

* Gentlemen" — I beg leave respectfully to announce my intention to 
offer myself, at the next vacancy, as a candidate for the office of re- 
corder of your ancient and loyal corporation. 

u To maintain the privileges and franchises of that corporation ; to 
identify the common council with the resident citizens, according to 
right aDd ancient usage ; to administer justice without delay, and at 
the smallest possible expense ; and to exercise all the functions of the 
office of recorder with the most pure impartiality. Such are the duties 
jf the omce to which I aspire. 

" To discharge these duties diligently and conscientiously, if I shall 
be elected to that office, is my fixed and unalterable determination. 

" To make an individual canvass, appears to me inconsistent with 
that feeling of delicacy which ought to belong to the judicial character. 
I therefore content myself with thus soliciting support. I do not desire 
that any man should vote for me unless he is in his conscience convinced 
that I am competent, in professional skill and experience, and above ail, 
that I should act as your recorder with perfect impartiality and disin- 
terestedness. 

I have the honour to be, Gentlemen, your most obedient servant. 

M Daniel O'Connell." 

About the time of the foregoing address, Mr. O'Connell had occasion, ac a public dinner 
aJ " D'Arcy's Great Room. Corn-Excnange," (subsequently the assembly-room of the 
Catholic Association, and of the popular bodies that succeeded it, down to the opening of 
Conciliation EaU in lS-'A, after which latter event the "Great- Room'" became the chiet 
oiV.ce of the Repeal Association,) to express his opinion of Curran 

The toast it had fallen to his lot to propose was, the memory 
of one of the greatest of the Irish patriots. His patriotism was 
undeviating, his eloquence unequalled — uniting at the same time 
the very soul of wit and humour, with the most touching pathos 
in language at once classical, sublime, and irresistible. 

The love of country was impressed upon his heart, and his 
superior talents shed a lustre on the profession to which he be- 
longed. He sought no personal advantage or emolument, but, 
by his conduct, gained the respect even of his enemies ; and 
when, late in life, he succeeded to that ^situation to which nis 
talents so justly entitled him, it was but the honourable reward 
of genius, perseverance, and industry. In this city, in the worst 
of times, he was seen fearlessly marching through the ranks of 
blood, with the bayonet to his breast, true to humanity and to 
his clients, and advocating the cause of those victims he could 
not save. 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



Yefc now — oh, disgrace to Ireland ! — -his remains are con- 
signed to an obscure churchyard in England, with not a stone 
to mark the spot where sleeps John Philpot Curran;; and even 
in the country that he loved, there is nothing, as yet, to record 
his name I* 

" THE MEMORY OF JOHN PHILPOT CURRAN." 



MEETING AT KILMAISTHAM, 

On the 30th December of this year, a meeting took place at the Kilniainham Court- 
House, at the requisition of the government party, who were desirous of getting up an ' 
address to the King, George the Fourth, approving of the recent infamous persecution of ' 
his queen. 

The following is an account of it, abbreviated from the newspapers : — 

4 The most strenuous exertions were made by tne requisite onists, amongst whom 
were a great number of office-holders in the law, police, revenue, corporation, &c. 

u A large party of police were in attendance . ... The first act 
of the sheriff indicated.his bias. He ordered the police to clear away a large num- 
bei of most respectable freeholders, and to admit only such persons as he should 
voint out. In a short time, however, fcfte pressure of the crowd nullified his orders 
in a great measure. 

"Disappointed in this move, he adopted another and a ludicrous device to 
admit his chosen few. A chair was procured on which Lord Howth was placed* 
and raised by foir able-bodied policemen to a back window, through which his lord- 
ship obtained mgress. A similiar operation was performed on Lord Frankfort r 
aud several others, to the no small merriment of the spectators. 

" The proceedings were opened amid the utmost or»\r on the part of the people. 
Lord Hovth and Lord Frankfort each said a few words, but they were perfectly 
Inaudible to the bulk of the meeting. It was thou perceived that the sheriff was 
making some nomination or selection. 

w fl&i O'Connell wished to know the nature of tne proceedings going on about 
the jhair. He inquired whether any motion had been made, or question proposed. 

• The High Sheriff, at the suggestion of some person near him, asked if 
'A'/. O'Connell was a freeholder of the county of IXiblm ? 

' JJu. O'Connell (speaking with great emphasis) — 4 1 am st freeholder of thi* 
wanty. I have a hereditary property which, probably, may stand a comparison 
vrith the person who interrogates me ; and I have a profession winch gives me aa 
annual income greater than any of the personages who surround . the chair are abla 
to wring from the- taxes.' (Loud applause.) 

44 The Sheriff then said, that he w abominating a. committee to prepare ail 
address. 

" Lord Cloncurry objected strongly to this irregularity. 4 The meeting should 
nominate ' 

" The Siierjff however, persevered, an(J was heard to nominate L Lord Frank- 
fort. 

* It is scarcely necessary now to say that this §tain is long since ^ iped out, and that , 
very handsome and classical monument to Currai} stands in (Jlasnevin cemetery. 



DANIEL O'COXXELL, ESQ., M.P. 



u Lord Cloncurry again objected, and -would take the sense of the meeting:. 

* The Sheriff refused him the opportunity, and repeated Lord Frankfort'3 
name. The 'noes' were in an immense majority against it. The sheriff, however, 
declared him selected. 

" Mr. J. D. Mullen protested, and being threatened by the sheriff to be put 
out of the court as no freeholder, declared that he was such, and defied the sheriff 
to put his threat into execution. 

u Lords Howth and Frankfort, and some gentlemen with them, now-pro- 
duced a prepared address which, when read, appeared a very poor composition. ' 
On the question for its adoption — 

" Mr. Burne, K.C., rose to oppose it. He did not see, in the first place, the 
necessity of making a boast of 4 loyalty.' 1 There bad been no instances of disloyalty 
for a long time. 

"Mr. Cobbe (from Swords) — 'Yes, yes!' 

4< Several voices — ' Xame one, name one ! T 

44 Mr. Burne also called upon Mm tc name it. 

" Mr Cobbe — 4 1 will, the opposition to the present address P 

44 After a shout of laughter •which this occasioned, had subsided. Mr. Burne 
resumed, and argued ably against the calling of the meeting, the sheriffs conduct, \ 
and his preconcerted arrangements, &c. 

li The Sheriff — 4 Mr Burne your party met as well as ours. y 

44 After this second interruption, the speaker was at last allowed to proceed, and j 
conclude his protest in peace. But when, after concluding, he again rose to an- 
nounce that he would move an amended and really loyal address, the sheriff de- 
clared he would not hear him further ; and in spite of remonstrances from Mr. 
O'Connell and others, put the question on the original address. To this there 
were a hundred noes for every one aye. He then proclaimed the meeting dissolved 
Mr. O'Connell declared that the chairman, though he might abdicate the 
chair, could not dissolve the meeting until they should have completed the 
business for which they were convened. He moved Lord Clone ory to the chair 

" The Sheriff said he would oppose his lordship's taking the chair. 

Lord Cloncurry (who was greatly cheered) — 4 The freeholders of the county 
Dublin have done me the honour to call me to the chair, and I will certainly obey 
their commands.' (Great cheering.) 

44 4 1 most solemnly protest against the illegal and unconstitutional conduct of 
the sheriff this day . . . . it is inconsistent with every notion of law or L*- , 
berty, and I am happy to obey the call which directs me to give all the resistance ' 
in my power to proceedings so arbitrary and unconstitutional !' (Enthusiastic 
applause.) 

a Here the sheriff was understood to threaten to commit Lord Cloucurry, if hi 
persisted in keeping the chair. 

44 Mr. O'Connell — 4 Prepare your prison then ! If it be large enough to con- 
tain us all, we will all accompany him there. (Loud cheering for several minutes.) 

44 4 More freeholders will accompany him there than were found to vote at the 
last election ; nor will they regret the absence of their representatives, though they ! 
may have an opportunity of reminding them of that absence.' 

44 The Sheriff, then, with great violence of 'tone and manner, declared that 
he would call in the military. (Much disapprobation.) He called upon Lord 
Cloncurry to withdraw. (Loud disapprobation.) 

44 Lord Cloncurry — 4 1 will not withdraw ! This is the freeholders' house — 
built with the freeholders' money. At their call I have taken the chair. I am 
a magistrate of this county ; no man shall use illegal violence in my presence, 
unless he have a force superior to the law. In support of the law I am ready to 



30 



SELECT SPEECHES OP 



perish in this chair, and nothing but force shall tear me from it.' (Enthusiastic 
cheers.) 

" The Sheriff said that the meeting was an illegal meeting, and that as such 
he would disperse it. 

"Mr. O'Connell — 'The meeting is a perfectly legal meeting. Let every 
freeholder who values his rights, remain, and if any man be prosecuted for re- 
maining here, let me be that man ; for I have, and shall everywhere avow that 
I have advised, and counselled you to continue the meeting.' 

" The sheriff here withdrew. 

" The most perfeet order and decorum still prevailed, and the court-house ex- 
hibited one of the most respectable and crowded meetings we have ever witnessed. 

"Mr. Burne addressed the chair, but had not uttered many sentences, when 
a side-door was thrown open with a violent crash, and an officer and some soldiers 
rushed in. They commanded the freeholders hi the most peremptory manner to 
withdraw. Some violence was offered to individuals, but certainly not much, as 
the privates conducted themselves with good temper, and the freeholders quietly 
dispersed. 

" Lord Cloncurry kept his seat. Mr. Curran placed himself by his side 
Two soldiers, bayonet in hand, ascended the bench close to Mr. Curran, who good 
humouredly, but firmly, put the weapons aside. The officer standing on the table, 
ordered Lord Cloncurry to withdraw. 

" Lord Cloncurry replied, that he was a magistrate, presiding over a legal 
meeting of his majesty's subjects ; that he would remain until the proceedings 
were regularly brought to a close, unless removed by actual force. 

*' The officer said he must use force, and drew or was in the act of drawing his 
sword, and force was applied to Lord Cloncurry before he left the chair. 

''•The freeholders assembled in immense numbers at the opposite side of the 
road. A chair was procured for Lord Cloncurry in the passage of a house, and 
the amended address was read by Mr. Burne, seconded by Mr. O'Connell, and 
earned with acclamation. 

"The following was its substance : — 

" ' That our dutiful attachment and allegiance deserve the greater consideration, inas- 
much as those sentiments are not diminished by the multiplied distress and aggravated 
miseries of your faithful people of Ireland, since the measure of the Union. "... -~ 

" ' Deeply interested as we are in every event connected with the stability of the throne, 
we have felt inexpressible satisfaction at the termination of the late proceedings in the 
House of Lords;* sincerely hoping that proceedings so dangerous and unconstitutional, 
never will be revived in any shape. ' 

"Mr. O'Connell moved that a committee be appointed to lay before the Lord 
Lieutenant, the outrageous and illegal conduct of the sheriff on that day. 

" He said that he felt happy in the hope, that all that was honest, and manly, 
and constitutional in England, would be found in sympathy with the inhabitants 
of this trampled land. The people of England would now see that the Irish, 
however attached to liberty, could not attend a meeting convened by the sheriff, 
without peril to their lives. Let the people of England learn from the events 
of this day, the fate that is most assuredly in reserve for themselves, if they do 
not, while yet there is time, while yet the opportunity remains open, come for- 
ward, one and all, to resist the machinations of a ministry, the leading person- 
age of which is the very man who extinguished the liberties of his native land, 
and laid her prostrate before her gj pressors, and helpless against any and every 
illegal violence ! ! 

* Against George the Fourth's most unfortunate queen. 



DANIEL o'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 67 

M Mr. Burne was then moved to the chair, and thanks being voted, vrith. the 
wannest acclamations, to Lord Cloncurry, the meeting quietly separated." 

Upon the 2nd of January, 1821, a most numerous meeting, "to consider the best stepc 
to be taken as to the outrage on Saturday at Kilmainham," was held at the Corn Exchange 
Rooms (then D Arcy's Tavern), Hamilton Rowan, Esq., in the chair, and John Finlay, Es<u. 
acting as secretary. 

Mr. O'Coxxell considered it incumbent upon him to address 
the meeting at the earliest possible moment, having been one of 
the first of those persons who had been instrumental in conven- j 
ing it. 

The gentlemen to whom he alluded, and with whom he had 
the honour of being associated in recommending this step, did 
not come to any definite conclusion as to the particular resolu- j 
tions to be proposed for adoption on this occasion, but had 1 
unanimously agreed that they and the general body of the free- \ 
holders of the county of Dublin would well deserve the treatment j j 
which they had received — would well merit to be branded as the 
SLAVES they were supposed to be, did they remain quiescent un- 
der the outrage which was, on Saturday last, committed against 
their rights and persons. (Much cheering.) 

It was a thing unheard of, that at a meeting convened by the 
high sheriff of a county, to prepare a loyal and dutiful address to 
his majesty, the freeholders should not have been permitted to 
give expression to sentiments of loyalty, and freely pronounce 

! their opinion upon the topics with which that address ought to 
deal. It was monstrous that they should have been driven, -at 

■ ; the point of the bayonet, from under the roof of the court-house, 
where the meeting was legal, into the open air, where, under the 
existing law, it was illegal to assemble. The very law which 
made it so, was enacted by the ministry whose counsels this 
county had been called upon to approve, and constituted a part 
of the system of the present administration. 

This law was enacted in England to restrain the free expres- 
sion of opinion in that country. It was enacted under cover of 
the pretext that large meetings were necessarily dangerous, that 

j they were inevitably inflammatory and tumultuous when held in | 

I the open air. But no such meetings had been held in the open 
air in Ireland. He (Mr. O'Connell) had attended and spoken at j 
most of the Irish meetings. They were all held under, some roof. 
They were peaceable, and not. a shadow of excuse could be alleged 
for extending those laws to Ireland. 

There was, however, an object in extending them to this 
country — the object of preserving the consistency of the existing 
ministry's system in the government of Ireland. (Hear, hear.} 



88 SELECT SPEECHES OF 

Ireland should be struck at ! Whether England was hit or no* 
it was a settled thing that Ireland should be struck at. She was 
too upright, too inviting for a blow, to allow the opportunity to 
slip. Like the man at a country fair, who, carrying his head 
erect and stately, suddenly found himself knocked down, and on 
asking the reason why, was answered, Oh, your head was in the 
way, and invited the blow !" (Loud laughter.) So, too, thought 
the English minister, as he struck the blow, which he felt invited 
to, at unoffending Ireland I However, she is not too fallen to rise \ 
again, she is not too prostrate to be deterred, or disenabled from 
making a reimperative effort for her independence, and the free 
exercise of the inalienable rights of the people I (Much cheering.) 

The brand has entered your souls, and you deserve to be 
branded and to be enthralled for ever, if you do not exert your 
energies to justify yourselves, and vindicate your characters. 
The voice and the sentiments which went for that Kilmainham 
have thrilled through every heart in the country. They have 
spoken, trumpet-tongued, the feelings of independence which 
oeats in every Irish bosom, and I hope they will be re-echoed 
throughout every part of Ireland ! (Loud applause.) Oh ! my 
friends, a glorious opportunity has burst upon you ! Avail your- 
selves of it, and prove to the inhabitants of England, that you do 
not yield to them in the love of constitutional liberty ! That 
you will struggle to vindicate with them, and restore again in its 
pristine brightness and purity, constitutional liberty ! (Loud 
cheering.) 

Whatever redress we may seek for the grievances which we 
have suffered and so patiently endured, let it be sought for only 
through the constitutional channel. It is, therefore, that I move, 
in the spirit of the constitution under which we live, and for 
which we would die — 

" That a committee of fifteen be appointed to consider of the best 
method of demanding redress for the outrage committed on the free- 
holders, at Kilmainham, on Saturday last." 

This motion, to which Mr. Finlay and some other gentremon spoke, being about to be 
put, Mr. M'Donnell sugsested a deputation to the secretary at the Castle, Mr. Grant. 

Mr. O'Connell said he had ever had the highest respect for Mr. 
Grant, but did not approve of the deputation proposed, as, with- 
out it, there was a satisfactory test by which to try the senti- 
ments and disposition of the administration of the country. 

If the government with which Mr. Grant was connected should, 
by that day week, suspend the public officer who had committed 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P, 



the atrocious outrage on the people's rights, against which they 
had now met to protest, he (Mr. O'Connell) would be ready to 
admit that the Irish government were disposed to consider the 
just rights of the people. But in the uncertainty, or, perhaps 
he should say, the very great doubt he was in upon that subject, 
he could not by any means consent to allow himself to be sent 
about from the office of one deputy at the castle, to the office ol 
another under-secretary's under-deputy, and to come away with- 
out redress, if even he were accorded any reply at all. 

He was of opinion that it would be the more proper method 
to bring the question before parliament, and to expose the whole \ 
proceedings to the public eye of England, that England might 
see that there existed abundant spirit and manliness in Ireland 
to co-operate with her in the cause of freedom. (Applause.) 

Great as was indeed the outrage, yet he was clearly of opinion, 
that the sheriff had served the cause, of which it was evident he 
was no very warm friend. His conduct was a death-blow to 
many addresses intended to be got up for the same vile purposes, 
and by the same underhand management. It had awakened 
the spirit of the land. Whatever remnant of public spirit stil] : 
lingered in this country would, by the events of that day, ac- 
quire renewed and augmented force and energy. He sincerely 
hoped, that one and all, forgetting past dissensions, and sinking 
every petty dispute about sect or party, in the general weal, 
would obey the universal call to exertion which the late unparal- 
leled outrage so imperiously demanded. 

He did not think that he was too sanguine in hailing the 
occurrence at Kilmainham as the harbinger of better days for 
Ireland, He never would despair — he believed that that liberty 
for which the patriot long prayed, and which the poet had pro- 
mised to them, would one day come. Her voice had been lately 
heard among other nations of the earth. It spoke in Spain — 
and as it spoke, the nation rejoiced, wealth increased, prosperity 
was secured, despotism was suddenly struck with blight, and the 
people became free ! (Loud cheering.) 

In Naples, too, her voice had been heard. But Naples stands 
not secure in her freedom, not because there is danger of inva- 
sion into her territory by the Austrian despot, but because 
Naples treated Sicily, as one nation, which might easily be 
named, uniformly treated another which shall be nameless ! 
(Loud cheering.) 

But on no nation, perhaps, were her blessings — the blessing? 
•~wf constitutional liberty — more abundantly showered than on 



90 



SELECT SPEECHES OP 



Portugal — Portugal, whose people an English writer, but a short 
time ago, had ventured to denominate " human vermin I" Por- 
tugal, whose inhabitants Lord Byron, the poet of the age, and 
the friend of humanity, had in 181S pronounced to be 

" Base Lusian slaves — the lowest of the low P 

That same Portugal is now a great nation among the highest of 
the high, and her people are the " freest of the free." Had his 
friend Mr. M'Donnell been of the patriots of Oporto, he might 
probably have suggested the propriety of sending an address to 
the court of the Brazils, at Rio de Janeiro, petitioning for li- 
berty ; and, after waiting a year and a -half for an answer, return- 
ing with a very plain and unmistakeable refusal. (Laughter.) 

With such a prospect before him, why should he despair for 
his country ? He never would subscribe to the belief, that Ire- 
land was reserved for exclusive degradation — but rather espouse 
the sentiments of the " bard ot Erin," who united the spirit of 
prophecy to the genius of poetry — 

" The nations have fallen, hut thou art still young, 
Thy sun is hut rising, whilst others are set — 
And tho' slavery's cloud o'er thy morning hath hung, 

The full noon of freedom shall heam round thee yet I 
Erin, Erin, tho' long in the shade, 
Thy star will shine out when the proudest shall fade 1" 

At an adjourned meeting, a few days after, held at the same place, Mr. O'Connell spoke 
again on the same topics, and to the same effect. A very large number of gentlemen, 
Protestants and others, who did not usually attend public meetings, were present, and a 
vote of thanks and compliment to Mr. O'Connell was carried with unanimous acclamations. 

No redress was obtained, as from the usual current of events at that time, might have 
been expected to prove the result, and indeed was so expected^ 



LETTERS OF MR. O'CONNELL 

We now come to some letters of Mr. O'Connell, the first of them being one of the earliest 
of the stirring annual appeals which, during his career he so frequently made to the Irish 
people, calling on them to arouse themselves to renewed and increased exertion for their 
ifuffering country, to count all by-gone efforts as nothing, while yet there was before them 
anything which they might do to advance her cause. 

"Nil actum reputare, dumquid superesset agendum. 4 * 

Such, in truth, was one of the maxims of his agitation most frequently enforced, and 
most perseveringly acted upon by himself. 

The differences with Mr. Shiel, which this letter gave rise to, and to which the othera 
refer, did not prove enduring, and their very recollection gave way before long to the most 
enduring mutual regard and friendship, 



DANIET OHONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



"TO THE CATHOLICS OF IRELAND. 

11 1 Can piety the discord heal, 

Or stanch the death-feud's enmity 
Can Christian love, can patriot zeal, 
Can love of blessed charity V 

" Merrion-square, Dublin, 1st January, 1821. 

" Fellow-Countrymen — After another year of unjust degra- j 
dation and oppression, I again address you. We have lived, j 
another year, tjie victims of causeless injustice. Oar lives wear i 
away, and we still continue aliens in our native land. Every ! 
thing changes around us. Our servitude alone is unaltered and j 
permanent. 

" The blood runs cold, and the heart withers when we reflect 
on the wanton prolongation of our sufferings. The iron sinks 
into our very souls at the helpless and hopeless nature of our 
lot. To the severest of injuries is added the most cruel of in- 
sults, and we are deprived of the miserable consolation of think- 
ing that our enemies deem themselves justified by any necessity 
or any excuse for continuing our degradation. 

"No,*my fellow-countrymen, no, there is no excuse for the 
injustice that is done us. There is no palliation for the iniqui- 
tous system under which we suffer. It contradicts the first 
right of men and Christians — the right of worshipping our God 
according to the dictates of our conscience. Nay, this odious 
system goes farther ; it converts the exercise of that right into 
a crime, and it inflicts punishment for that which is our first 
and most sacred duty — to worship our Creator in the sincerity 
of conscience. 

" For this crime, and for this crime alone, we are punished and 
degraded — converted into an inferior class in our native land, 
and doomed to perpetual exclusion. Our enemies cannot accuse 
us of any other offence — other crime we have committed none. 
Even the foolish charge of intemperance — a charge which was 
only a symptom of that contempt in which our enemies hold us — 
even the absurd accusation of intemperance is now abandoned, 
and our degradation continues without necessity, without excuse, 
without pretence, without palliation. 

" Some honest men might have been heretofore deluded into 
an hostility towards us by their being made to believe that there 
was something in the tenets of our religion inconsistent with 
civil, or at least with religious liberty. But this delusion can 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



130 longer continue. To prove that the Catholic religion is con 
sistent with civil liberty, I appeal to Catholic Spain, where a 
Catholic soldiery joined a Catholic people to restore represen- 
tative government ; and succeeded in a glorious revolution, un- 
stained on their part by a tear or a drop of blood. To prove 
that the Catholic religion is consistent with civil liberty, I ap- 
peal to Catholic Portugal, where again a Catholic soldiery joined 
a Catholic people, to enforce the justice of universal suffrage and 
representative government ; and where, also, a bloodless and 
tearless revolution has been effectuated, of which all that we know 
is good, is excellent. I might appeal likewise to Catholic Naples, 
but that the Ireland of her connexion reminds me of my own tram- 
pled and heart-broken land, and makes me abandon an example 
honourable to my religion, because it excites feelings rendered too 
painfully familiar by the miseries of my native country. 

" I need not recur to more ancient instances. I need not cite 
the first republics of modern Europe. The Catholic republics of 
Venice, of Genoa, of Lucca. I need not refer to the Catholic 
Cantons of Switzerland, which were all democratic, while the Pro- 
testant Cantons were all aristocratic. Nor need I recal to mind 
the present struggle for liberty and national independence through 
the wide-spread regions of South America. But when I con- 
template ancient and modern days, I can proudly, but cordially 
and affectionately enter into a rivalry with Protestant lovers of 
freedom : and contend, as I do contend, that Catholics deserve 
the palm in the cheering struggles which nations have made, and 
which, thank God, the nations of the earth are now making for 
civil liberty. 

" With respect to religious liberty, the case of the Catholics 
is, if possible, still stronger. It was a Catholic state that first 
proclaimed and established liberty of conscience for all persua- 
sions — the Catholic state of Maryland. It was a Catholic parlia- 
ment that alone has granted full, free, unrestricted, and equal- 
ized emancipation to their Protestant fellow-countrymen — the 
Catholic diet of Hungary. It was a Catholic king that afforded 
the last instance of a similiar emancipation — the Catholic King 
of Bavaria. These instances of Catholic liberality cannot be made 
too familiar to the minds of honest Protestants, whose ambition 
it ought to be to give reciprocal proofs of liberality and Christian 
charity. I would also remind such Protestants that the odious 
and execrable inquisition so long cherished by despotic monarchs, 
has been crumbled into dust by the Catholic people of Spain, the 
moment they had the power to crush it. I would remind then* 



DANIEL o'CONXELL, ESQ., M.P. 



that in France, a Catholic monarch, whose sincerity in the Ca- 
tholic faith cannot be doubted, and who punctually hears masa 
every day, has for one of his ministers of state a Protestant gen- 
tleman, although that Protestant, if he were in England, could 
not fill the office of parish constable, without swearing that the 
Mass was impious, and he who heard it an idolater. Finally, 
let every Protestant recollect, that even in Rome itself, a Protes- 
tant Church has been erected, and that the Protestant worship 
is performed in Rome, as it were under the eye, and certainly by 
the permission of his Holiness the Pope himself. 

u I will not, and I need not pursue this subject farther. Every 
unprejudiced man who will consider the subject dispassionately, 
must with me arrive at the conclusion, that the tenets of the Ca- 
tholic religion are perfectly consistent with complete freedom of 
conscience, and that they assort kindlily and well with the best 
forms of civil liberty. 

11 1 do not dwell upon these topics because of the melancholy 
pleasure I feel in contrasting our merits with our sufferings. I 
do not dwell upon them because of the honest pride I experience 
at the superiority in religious liberality and love of rational li- 
berty, which belongs to the religion of your fathers and mine. 
I advert to them merely to show, that as Catholic degradation 
in Ireland is without a cause, so it also is without a remedy, 
Could that degradation be attributed to intemperance, we might 
hope for a mitigation of it by changing our manner, and becoming 
as gentle as sucking doves. Could that degradation be justified 
by offence or crime on our part — then, indeed, we might hope 
for relief by repentance, by atonement, by amendment. Had 
not ancient and modern instances of the enthusiastic devotion 
of liberty to Catholics proved our fitness for freedom, we might 
still expect to win our way by declaring our attachment to the 
genuine principles of the constitution. Had not Catholics given 
not only the best and brightest, but almost all the examples of 
religious liberality hitherto known, we might flatter ourselves to 
succeed by solemn protestations, that the real doctrine of our 
Apostolic Church disclaims all force or compulsion, and seeks 
for votaries, as the apostles did, by mere persuasion. But alas ! 
every hope, every expectation of this kind is now useless. Our 
degradation is, I repeat it, without a remedy, because it is with- 
out a rational cause, or any reasonable pretence. 

" From our exertions we can expect no relief ; can we hope 
for any redress from parliament ? In my conscience I think not 
whilst the parliament remains in its present most anomalous 



94 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



state. Indeed, I have arrived at the most perfect conviction, 
that it is the extreme of folly and absurdity, to imagine that an 
unreformed parliament would or could consent to give us relief. 

I " Upon principle, the present parliament cannot give us re- 
lief — for two reasons, first, because by emancipating the Catholics? 

i of Ireland, they would destroy the system by which the present 
ministry govern Ireland — the system of dissension and division, 

j. the weakening of all by preventing any constitutional combina- 
tion or rational cohesion, for the purposes of opposing misrule. 

; Secondly, because to grant us emancipation, would be to extend 

i the sphere of civil liberty, and the alchymists who expected to 
extract the most precious metals from the dross of the lowest 
minerals, were sapient beings when compared with the drivellers 
who could believe that they were to receive the fine gold of 
liberty from the dregs of the existing administration. 

"Let us, however, quit all theoretic views, and come to a 
closer examination of our prospects. If we do so> the first object 
that presents itself to us, is the causeless rejection, so often re- 

i peated, of our petitions — all the arguments — all the talent was 
with us — a few often refuted assertions — a few stale calumnies, 

I exploded everywhere else, and a majority of each house was 
against us. 

"This is the first fact to prove that it is hopeless to continue 
our petitions to an unreformed parliament. The next is, that 
such rejections took place, although our advocates in the House 
of Commons did latterly tender the ministers the veto, as a valu- 
able consideration for a relief bill. Now, that tender was made 
not only without our consent, but amidst our recorded and re- 
peated disapprobation — and. such tender cannot, I will add, 
shall not, be renewed. Neither Mr. Plunket, nor Mr. anything 
else, shall again offer a veto without a prompt and unequivocal 
j disavowal — a disavowal which will be followed by a Catholic pe- 
tition against receiving emancipation upon any such terms. On 
this point, I will not, I cannot, enter into any compromise. 
Being a Catholic in the most perfect sincerity of belief, I clo, in 
my conscience, and in the presence of my God, believe that any 
species of vetoistical interference would be equally injurious to 
my religion, as destructive of civil liberty in Ireland. With 
this conviction on my mind, all my most strenuous exertions 
shall be used to disavow, to complain of, 1 must say, to denounce 
every person who may seek to obtain for us civil privileges, by 
a sacrifice of the safety of our religion. But, my fellow-coun- 
trymen, if the parliament rejected our petitions, even whilst 



DANIEL O'COXNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



05 



our advocates offered to extend ministerial influence and courtly 
patronage over another Church, what prospect or possibility is 
there that a parliament, composed of the same unconstitutional 
materials, will grant us redress, when we disdain and utterly 
reject that influence and that patronage % Certainly none. 

" The third fact to prove that an unreformecl parliament will 
not grant us relief, is to be found in the history of the last ses- 
sions. A period had arrived most auspicious to our interest.-;. 
The ministers had resolved to commit themselves with the British 
people, by the prosecution of her majesty the queen. They 
could not but be conscious of the perfect injustice of that pro- 
ceeding — they could not but know the odium which must bo 
excited among such a people as the English, at the palpable 
iniquity of any men, combining the inconsistent characters of 
prosecutors and judges. It required but little intellect to per- 
ceive how revolting to common sense, to common reason, to 
common honesty, such a combination must be. A man has 
only to place himself in the situation of being prosecuted, with 
a certainty that his prosecutors shall also be his judges. Cay 
anything be more frightful ? The ministers knew it well — then 
also felt what little reliance was to be placed on the discarded 
servants, the prostitutes, and all the vulgar rabble of Italian wit- 
nesses, which the Milan inquisition had raked together. Tho 
ministers knew their danger, and yet, with a desperate tenacity 
uf place, persevered. 

" At such a moment as this, the Catholics resolved to renew 
their petition. It was a golden, although not a glorious oppor- 
tunity. I acknowledge that their conduct was not generous, but 
it was very natural. They did, accordingly, prepare petitions, ' 
and Lord Donoughmore, as a matter of course — and Mr. Plun- 
ket, by a strange combination of accidents were requested to pre- 
sent those petitions. 

It is true these petitions were not rejected, but they were 
worse — they were not received. The House of Lords was not in a 
temper to hear us. That noble assembly which could listen for 
weeks with a gloating satisfaction to the obscene details of a Del- 
pont or a Majocchi, had not one leisure hour fco throw away on 
the claims and rights of five millions of Catholics. Lord Don- 
oughmore, and his sincerity to the Catholics cannot be doubted, 
therefore declined presenting our petition to the Lords. Thus, 
in that house, has the best opportunity I have ever known of 
pressing emancipation on the ministry, been thrown away and lost 
for ever. 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



u The House of Commons was ready enough to adjourn from 
week to week at the convenience of the ministry ; but they could 
not, it seems, spare any one of their idle days to hear the prayers of 
an injured people. Mr. Plunket, accordingly, refused to present 
our petition at that period, to the House of Commons, and thus 
again was lost the most favourable opportunity for our claims 
which has appeared in modern times. 

"Thus have the last sessions passed away, and it only remains 
for us to consider what course is now to be taken. 1 have heard 
it said, that our last petition not having been presented still re- 
mains, and should be brought before parliament in the next ses^ 
sions ; that I totally deny. Of the numerous persons who signed 
that petition, some must be dead. Is it the petition of the dead 
men % Many have left Ireland — is it the petition of the absent and 
uninterested % Very many have changed their minds on the sub- 
ject, and would not now concur in that petition. I am one of tha 
number. Is it now my petition or the petition of those who think 
with me % We totally disclaim it. Besides, our resolution, when 
that petition was prepared, was, that it should be forthwith, or 
| immediately presented, I forget which was the word. It was 
I prepared for a particular occasion ; that occasion has gone by, 
i and, with the petition of last sessions, has passed for ever, 
j " At the time we prepared that petition, there were six of 
; the cabinet ministers in our favour against seven. The resig- 
| nation of Mr. Canning has reduced the number of our side to 
I five, and if his substitute, as is likely, be from the No popery 
faction, then the numbers of the cabinet will be eight to five 
! against giving us any relief upon any terms. 
I " The advice which I do, therefore, submit to you, my coun- 
trymen, with respectful deference, is this, to petition an unre- 
formed parliament no more for those rights which it has refused 
so often and so causelessly, and which it will not, it cannot, it, 
I may say, dare not grant. The time is arrived when we should 
be weary of being amongst those 

4 Who yearly kneel before their masters doors, 
And hawk their wrongs as beggars do their sores/ 

[t is useless, it is worse than useless, to petition a parliament of 
virtual representatives for liberty ; we should be again rejected 
and mocked by the trickery of a debate — and insulted by an 
unreasoning majority. 

" But shall I be asked, if I advise you to lie down beneath your 
grievances in sullen silence and despair. No, my countrymen— 



DANIEL o'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



97 



no, we will not, we ought not despair. There is a restless 
spirit of liberty abroad, which, if it will submit to just, necessary, 
and temperate regulation, must lead to good. Let us not dis- 
turb its course, or retard its progress. 

" If we continue our Catholic petitions, we shall continue the 
dissensions and divisions of our country — we shall perpetuate 
those distractions which alone have weakened Ireland and laid 
her prostrate. By continuing our separate and exclusive la- 
bours, we do the work of our worst enemies, and keep up a per- 
petual line of distinction — a constant wall of separation between 
sects and parties in Ireland. Let us rather endeavour to amal- 
gamate the Catholic, the Protestant, the Presbyterian, the Dis- 
senter, the Methodist, the Quaker, into the Irishman — and, for- 
getting our own individual wrongs, let us call upon Irishmen of 
every description to combine in a noble struggle for the natural 
and inherent rights of our now wretched country. 

" Let that struggle be confined within the most peacable and 
constitutional limits. Let it have for its object the restoration 
of the constitution — and for its sole guide, the principles of the 
constitution ; let us, in a word, join heart and hand in the pur- 
suit of constitutional reform. 

" Believe me, my countrymen, they calumniate the reformers, 
who tell you that the reformers are enemies of the monarch or of 
the throne. The direct contrary is the fact. The reformers are 
the best guards of the monarchy. They know that an hereditary 
monarchy gives a principle of fixity to executive power, which 
affords the best and most secure protection against those con- 
vulsions which endanger life, and confound property. The re- 
formers are, therefore, on principle, the firm supporters of the 
throne, and one of their greatest and dearest objects is to rescue 
the Crown from the thraldom in which it is now held by that 
^orough-mongering faction, which, by domineering over both 
houses of parliament, holds the ministry in vassalage and the 
king in chains. 

" Let our future purpose be the abolition of that faction which 
has plunged these countries in war, in debt, in distress, and in- 
volved Ireland in all the miseries of the Union. Let us not enter 
into any quarrels as to the particular mode of reform ; but let ua 
be always governed by that principle of the constitution which 
justifies taxation upon the grounds of consent ; every man 
being supposed to consent to a tax by his representative. So 
that without a solecism in constitutional law, no man should be 
taxed who is not represented. This principle is plain and sim- 

VOL.1I. G 



§8 



pie ; it accords with justice and common sense, and will never 
be forgotten by men who deserve to be free. 

" Such my fellow-countrymen, is the advice of one of your- 
selves for the benefit of us all. It may be mistaken — it certainly 
is honest and disinterested — and flows from a heart warm with 
the love of its country and its kind, and devoted to the rights 
\nd liberties of Ireland — old Ireland. 

" 1 have the honour to be, Fellow-Countrymen, 

• $ Your faithful Servant and Fellow-Sufferer, 
" Daniel O'Connell." 

Upon this letter, Mr. Shiel published, a few days after, the following 



" AJSTSWEE TO ME. O'CONNELL'S ADDEESS, 

"BY MR. SHEIL. 

"TO THE CATHOLICS OF IEELAND. 

" Mr. O'Connell has published his accustomed annual invo^ 
eation at the commencement of the New Year. To demonstrate 
the fallacy of his reasoning, and to point out the pernicious ten- 
dency of his advice, is my object in addressing you. The concern 
of every Eoman Catholic in our national cause supersedes the 
sensitiveness with which, upon ordinary occasions, an individual 
ought to shrink from the public contact. To Mr. O'Connell's 
address is annexed the authority of his name. I trust that I 
shall be able to supply any absence of comparative personal im- 
portance upon my part by the weight of argument and of fact ; 
and from the high sense which I entertain of Mr. O'Connell'a 
"^thority, I cannot refrain from making use of it against himself-— 

'Nil cequali homini fuit illi.' 

) I shall state to you the substance of his letter, as well as it can 
be reduced to coherence and shape. This annual eruption, in 
which he has flung out such a flaming fragment of declamation, 
is accompanied with a considerable obscuration, arising from the 
shower of volatile opinion with which it is attended, nor is it easy 
to analyse the lava which is compounded out of such a variety 
of heterogeneous materials. 

" Upon his preliminary observations on our grievances, no com- 
ment is necessary ; suffice it to say, that they are written with 
feeling and force. Did he confine himself to such exercitations I 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



99 



lie would be as wise as he is impassioned. I have to do with 
the practical part of his letter. He advises, for the adoption of 
parliamentary reform, the abandonment of onr petition for relief — 
tie dwells upon Mr. Canning's resignation — insists that Mr. Plun- 
fcet shall make no tender of what, by a piece of professional dex- 
teritv, he calls the veto — insinuates that the petition already 
entrusted to Lord Donoughmore and Mr. Plunket ought not to 
ye presented, as some of the petitioners are dead, and because he, 
forsooth, has changed his mind ; and concludes with the singular 
project of amalgamating (as he terms it) a Quaker into an Irish- 
man. Such are the fashions of January, 1821. "Well, then, does 
Mr. O'Connell really think that you are to be so blinded with all 
the vapour which he has raised, as to imagine that there exists 
any connexion whatever between Koman Catholic Emancipation 
and Parliamentary Reform ] Whatever may be the sentiment 
of a Roman Catholic in his individual capacity, upon that topic, 
what has his creed to do with it 1 If we cannot obtain relief for 
ourselves, what shall we procure for others ? If the Roman Ca- 
tholic question cannot pass through the prejudices, will reform 
overcome the interests of the House of Commons 1 Mr. O'Con- 
nell's reasoning goes to show the weakness of the Catholics — 
why then ally their imbecility to the cause of reform 1 What 
will that cause gain by Mr. O'Connell's casting a peacock's feather 
into the scale 1 Where, too, is the certainty of a reformed par- 
liament passing emancipation ? The penal code was enacted by 
a parliament which set at defiance the authority of the crown. 
It is notorious that many of the opponents of reform ore the ad- 
vocates of our cause, and it is strange, that even while Mr. O'Con- 
nell expatiates upon its necessity, he sets such a high value upon 
the support of Mr. Canning, who is a zealous enemy to that mea- 
sure. He even admits that there was lately a mere majority of 
one against us in the Cabinet, and yet he bids us despair unless 
his new nostrum be employed. How different was his language, 
when scarcely one minister was favourable to our views, and when 
the late king's opposition operated as an insurmountable barrier 
for a time ! How did Mr. O'Connell speak, when our hopes hung 
like wet osiers, and it was needful to employ a strong and com- 
manding spirit to lift them from the stagnant despondency over 
which they drooped 1 If we identify our question with reform, 
will not the opponents of the latter become our foes 1 Why 

I.ccumulate new obstacles in our way ? If our question, simplified 
,s it is by plain right and obvious expediencv, cannot pass through 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



loaded with the union and parliamentary reform, spur the slow 
and unwieldy animal through the narrow orifice 1 The Roman 
Catholics of Ireland do not feel the least inclination to connect 
themselves with the reformers. The latter are well aware that \ 
we could render them no benefit, and must disserve ourselves. 
Besides, has it ever occurred to Mr. O'Connellthat Catholic Eman- 
cipation is to pass the House of Lords as well as the Commons 'I 
And what has the purification of one branch of the legislature 
to do with the success of the Catholic question in another. Per- 
haps, however, both houses of parliament may fall within the 
comprehensiveness of his projects, and his next address is to blow 
the mitres of thirty bishops into the paradise of fools. Enough, 
however, upon this new speculation, upon which it was scarcely 
worth my while to insist at so much length. 

" Let us now examine Mr. 0'Conneh" s assertion, that there is 
no likelihood — nay, that there is no possibility of success. It 
must have been since the month of July last that he made this 
discovery ; nor has he condescended to state by what process 
he has arrived at this grand political result. The only fact on 
which he relies is, the resignation of Mr. Canning. He builds 
upon this single circumstance his ill-constructed fabric of de- 
spair. Even if we did lose a vote in the cabinet, as our question 
is not made a cabinet measure, the loss would not be of much 
importance. But how has Mr. O'Connell ascertained that the 
vacancy is to be filled by an opponent of our claims 1 He 
conjectures it indeed, and it is upon his guess-work that the 
measures of a nation are to be founded ? Where are the evi- 
dences of hopelessness 1 Are they to be found in the opening j 
of the army 1 If this most valuable concession had been 
wrenched from the ministry — if it had been ushered in with the j 
sound of trumpets, it would be regarded as a great victory — and 
so it was to those brave men whose laurels had, till then, been I 
blighted by their creed. This was the measure which removed I 
the Whigs from office ; and there was, perhaps, a time when it 
would have been wise to postpone our petition, nor press upon 
our earnest friends so perplexing a subject. Did Mr. O'Connell, I 
at that time, advise the Roman Catholics to forbear. No ! he I 
reserves this novel doctrine for the present period, and spares 
this ministry the embarrassment of a question which distracts I 
them, and is the only topic on which they differ. But how does* I 
Mr. O'Connell act at this juncture ? The very moment that he 
bids you be silent, he is himself most loud. Does he intend to I 
reserve all expatiation upon our grievances to his own oracular I 



DANIEL O'CONNELL. ESQ., M.P. 101 

j 

self, and are you to forbear petitioning, that he may continue to , 
address ] Upon the remainder of Mr. O'Connell's letter, I need ! 
not occupy you long. From the subject of reform he suddenly j 
wheels round to Mr. Plunket ; men are not always conscious of | 
their own motives, nor does the mind see itself. The patriotism 
of Mr. O'Connell may be as pure as amber, but even in amber I 
we may find a straw ; Mr. O'Connell could not allow any per- I 
sonal feeling to influence him, where his country is at stake ; 
yet in speaking of Mr. Plunket, he says, ' neither Mr. Plunket, j 
nor Mr. Anything else, shall.' The phrase is a transparent one, and 
the rushlight, with its feeble and fretful fire is seen behind. It is 1 
as clear as glass ; it covers, but it does not hide. Mr. O'Connell ; 
does not deal very candidly when he says that Mr. Plunket shall | 
not offer the veto. Mr. Plunket has already distinctly stated, | 
that as the Catholics disapprove of the veto, it should be aban- I 
doned ; as to the particular form in which the question may be j 
brought forward, let me remind Mr. O'Connell, that upon his | 
proposing, at a very numerous meeting, a resolution, expressive 
of the unwillingness of the Roman Catholic body to accede to 
| any ecclesiastical arrangements, that resolution was carried by j 
a majority of only six, and when it was communicated to Mr. ! 
Plunket, he answered, that he should act as he deemed it meet ; ! 
let him remember that several of the parishes of Dublin confided 
their petitions to Mr. Plunket, without the annexation of any 
resolution whatsoever to control him in the exercise of his dis- 1 
cretion. Upon that occasion, when Mr. O'Connell revived the j 
unhappy question of the veto, I read several passages from his 
address of January, 1319, in which, after dwelling upon the va- 
lue of a silk gown, he advises that the subject of the veto should 
be buried in utter silence, says that it is not in the power of 
the Roman Catholics to prevent its real operation, and intimates 
that it is already in force. 

" ne would have hoped that after these opinions, deliberately set 
down in all the permanence of ink, Mr. O'Connell would hardly 
have ventured upon a resuscitation of the topic. But incon- 
sistency has no terror for him. In his present address, indeed, 
he states that he firmly believes in the Roman Catholic religion 
— I piiesume he also believed in it in 1819 — I hope, too, he does 
not enjoy a monopoly of faith ; nor will the public be inclined 
to think that such a man as Lord Fingal affords less practical 
evidence of his creed than any of its more clamorous professors. 

" Mr. O'Connell (and that I take to be the gist of his address) 
intimates that the petition, which has been entrusted to Lord 



102 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



Donoughmore and Mr. Plunket, ought not to be presented by 
them. He says, 'of the numerous persons who signed that pe- 
tition some must be dead — is it the petition of the dead men 1 
Really when we read arguments of this sort, knowing the ability 
of the advocate, we must think lamentably of the cause. It is 
the drowning grasp of a sophist in the agonies of confutation. 
Even in an ordinary action, the death of one of several parties 
shall not abate a suit ; and shall the imperial cause of Ireland 
perish in the death of John Stiles ? He also says that some of 
the petitioners are abroad, and therefore have no interest. What 
has become of Mr. O'Connell's patriotism 1 He gives in this 
opinion a bad sample of the Irishman into which he wishes to 
transmute every sect. Does he mean to say that an absence 
from this country would wash all its sufferings from his memory 1 
It is said that an orator of antiquity had a flute-player always 
beside him to sound the key by which his voice was to be pitched. 
It were well if Mr. O'Connell would, before he pens his next ad- 
dress, renovate his languid love of country, with the ( Exile o f 
Erin.' Mr. O'Connell also says that he has changed his mind. 
If, in the midst of a debate upon a petition of thousands, a 
single individual was so rash before the House of Commons, and 
exclaim, c I have changed my mind — I disclaim the petition 
though I have signed it should this person, by throwing a 
pebble into the stream, stop the whole current of a great pro- 
ceeding. Let Mr. O'Connell remember that all these arguments 
of his are as applicable to every former petition as to the pre- 
sent. Our petitions were generally submitted to Mr. Grattan, 
seven or eight months before they were presented. Did Mr. 
O'Connell ever allege that some of the petitioners were dead, or 
absent, or had changed their minds 1 Mr. O'Connell insists 
that the resolution entrusting our petitions to Lord Donough- 
more and Mr. Grattan, contained a clause that they would be 
presented ' forthwith, or immediately, he forgets which.' A per- 
son who builds an argument upon a word, and does not remem 
ber it, shows what sort of validity he sets upon it. Does Mr. 
O'Connell really mean to non-suit the Catholics of Ireland ; and 
is it with a ' forthwith' that he is to upset the cause of his coun- 
try l But neither Mr. O'Connell, nor e Mr. Anything else,' to 
borrow his own phraseology, shall dictate to the Catholic body ; 
and I must inform him that he wants the power to do ill. The 
petition was given to Lord Donoughmore arid to Mr. •Plunket, 
that it might be presented as soon as possible, and it was not 
possible to present it during the last session, when the queen's 



2?A^fEIj O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 1C.3 

case blocked up all the avenues of the State. To this Mr. O'Con- 
nell, however, pays no attention, nor does he affect to know- 
that the question at that time before the legislature was of so 
absorbing a character as to render every other topic, for the mo- 
ment, of comparative insignificance. It is not in the shocks of 
an earthquake that a house is to be repaired. But to oppose 
arguments of this sort is to combat with shadows. Neither 
Lord Donoughmore, our faithful advocate, nor Mr. Plunket, the 
legitimate successor of Mr. Grattan, will be swayed by such fu- 
tilities. The latter gentleman knows the value of all the points 
of k-¥ made by Mr. O'Connell. He will not be much disturbed 
by ar.y splenetic pleading. He is placed upon an eminence 
which Mr. O'Connell's addresses and harangues cannot reach. 

1 The murmuring surge, 
That on the unnumbered idle pebbles chafes, 
Cannot be heard so high.' 

" Mr. Plunket well knows that Mr. O'Connell does not speak 
the sentiments of the Roman Catholic budy ; once, indeed, by 
following he appeared to guide. By a flexible accordance between 
his sense of public duty, with his love of popular praise, he serve 
for some time to indicate the varieties of popular excitation. I 
should be loth to compare him to a sort of political vane by which 
all the veerings of the breeze might be determined, but it were 
as idle to imagine that the currents of air on which the balloon 
is borne, are regulated by the painted machine that floats upon 
them, as to suppose that a person swelled out with the very in- 
flammable patriotism of Mr. O'Connell, and raised by the very 
levity of his opinions, should create the vicissitudes of passion 
on which he ascends. That gentleman was certainly elevated in 
a very gaudy vehicle, embellished with every diversity of hue. 
He had risen with the shout of the multitude, and after throw- 
ing out all his ballast, and waving his green flag he very skilfully 
adapted his course in this aerial voyage to all the mutations of 
impulse, which agitated the stormy medium through which he 
passed, until at last, in attempting to rise into a still more lofty 
region, he has allowed the thin and combustible materials of his 
buoyancy to take fire, and comes tumbling in a volume of fiery 
vapour, composed of the Veto, the Union, and Parliamentary 
Reform. 

"Richard Shiel." 



104 



SELECT SPEECHES OP 



"TO THE CATHOLICS OF IRELAND. 

M ' But alas for his country — her pride is gone by, 

And that spirit is broken which never would bend; 
O'er the ruin her children in secret must sigh, 
For 'tis treason to love her, and death to defend. 

" Merrion-square, 12th January, 1821. 

" Fellow-Countrymen — I think it may be useful that I should 
offer you a few remarks upon a rhapsody which Mr. Shiel has 
published, under the title of a reply to my late address. 

"I will not do him the injustice to suppose, that he imagines 
he has given any answer to my arguments. He knows he has 
not ; neither is it important to inquire under what e mutation 
of impulse' he wrote. To ascertain whether he found himself 
6 filled with fury — rapt — inspired,' or acted on some colder and 
more considerate calculation, would be quite an uninteresting 
discovery. 

" But I am really at a loss to know how I have provoked the 
tragic wrath and noble ire of this iambic rhapsodist. It seems 
to me, that anything so unprovoked, never appeared in the annals 
of causeless incivility. He set out in a passion, and preserves 
the consistency of his rage to the end. And yet, after all, I would 
venture to wager that like the rabid animal in the fable, Mr. 
Shiel is not half so mad as he pretends to be. 

" There was lately in this country — and I fancy Mr. Shiel knew 
him — a gentleman who was so very angry an Atheist, that it was 
not safe for a believer to be in his company. His friends were 

obliged to preface thus : — c Mr. , I do not mean you any 

personal offence — but I really believe in the existence of a Deity.' 
So I find it is necessary to say to Mr. Shiel — 1 Sir, I do not mean 
you any insult — indeed I do not — but yet I am fervently, ay, 
and disinterestedly attached to my religion, to my country, and 
to liberty.' 

" This, however, my countrymen, is the crime for which he has 
bestowed on me a great variety of hard names. He begins by 
calling me ' a flaming fragment? next I am e lava? and thirdly, 
* heterogeneous materials.'' 

" Again he denominates me 6 a straw in amber? then c a rush- 
light with fretful fire? then, how terrific ! 6 a sophist drowning in 
confutation? and lastly, and which is quite sublime, c a volume, 
of fiery vapour. 9 

" From all these plain premises, Mr. Shiel would have you draw 
the following inevitable conclusion, that the Catholics should con- 



DANIEL O'COXNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



105 



tinue, year after year, and century after century (for he puts no 
limit to it), to petition a parliament which knows how to refuse 
though it has no reason to give for that refusal. 

" But this is trifling — Mr. Shiel is perfectly aware that the 
great question which the Catholics of Ireland must decide is this, 
whether they ought to continue to petition an unreformed par- 
liament after repeated and causeless rejections, or join at once 
the increasing friends of liberty who desire to restore the con- 
stitution by reforming that parliament. That is the question. 

" Xow it is plain, that no rational man conceives that a de- 
cision on so momentous a question as this, involving as well the 
rights as the interests of millions, could be aided either by vitu- 
peration, however rancorous, or by the tawdry and tinsel decc r- 
ations of melo-dramatic oratory ; such oratory is fit fur nothing ; 
else but to gratify that species of vanity which might in a school- \ 
boy be allowed to exclaim, ' see what a very clever little gentleman 
I am ! Wha wants me !' 

" The public can gain nothing from the mere admiration of 
Mr Shiel's talents, if talents they be ; neither would my argu- 
ments be weakened of their force, even were Mr. Shiel to prove | 
beyond a doubt that I am one of those odious, but alas, too com- \ 
mon creatures, who use the name of patriotism only to serve 
private purposes, and pretend to take an interest in religion 
merely to forward their views, on the speculation of place, or the 
sordid emolument of pension. Such persons certainly deserve 
execration ; I only say they may reason well, notwithstanding. 

" The question between us is not to be decided by character, 
and I therefore, and for many other reasons, commit mine into 
the hands of you, my countrymen. But I feel myself bound to 
notice two topics which Mr. Shiel has put forward in his letter, 
because if I was to leave them unrefuted, their effect might be 
to divert your attention from the force of my reasoning to motives 
of mere personal consideration. 

" The first of these topics is an empty boast — the second is an 
unfounded insinuation. 

" The boast is, tnat he (Mr. Shiel) convicted me of inconsistency 
on the subject of the veto, by showing, that in January, 1819, 1 
was favourable to a veto, for which, he says, ' he cited several ; 
passages from my address of that month.' 

" Now mark me, my countrymen, I pray you — in that very 
address I commenced the discussion of the veto with this pas- 
sage : — 1 With respect to the veto, my sentiments are unchanged and 
unalterable — my opposition to the veto is founded -on principles 



IOS 



SELECT SPEECHES OP 



which I can never yield. As an Irishman, I detest it — as a Ca- 
tholic, I DEPRECATE IT.' 

" Such were my words ; Mr. Shiel, of course, omitted this pas- 
sage in his garbled extract from the address. He well knows 
there is high authority for saying that it requires but little intel- 
lect to vary the best meaning, merely by omitting part of the 
subject matter. Even a fool can do it ; I do not accuse Mr. 
Shiel of being a fool — very far indeed from it. I only point out 
how admirable is the candour of a rhapsodist. Pray admire that 
candour ! 

" With this single observation I take leave of Mr. Shiel's boast. 
If it be not an empty boast, I consent to be called a balloon, and 
a vane, and a fiery vapour for the rest of my life. 

" Mr. Shiel's insinuation deserves a more ample discussion. It 
is this — he distinctly insinuates that I am actuated by motives 
of private hostility or personal resentment to Mr. Plunket, or, 
in the words of the rhapsodist, 6 that the rushlight with feeble 
and fretful fire is seen behind.' 

" I do, my fellow-countrymen, most solemnly assure you, that 
there is not the slightest foundation whatsoever for this insinu- 
ation ; that the direct contrary is the fact ; in plain truth, it is 
not my disposition to entertain resentment even against those 
who injure me ; and nothing can be more repugnant to my habits, 
than to feel ill-will without cause. Now, in point of fact, Mr. 
Plunket never did me any unkindness whatsoever, or showed me 
any incivility or inattention ; on the contrary, he has been, in 
all my intercourse with him, uniformly courteous, attentive, and 
even kind. I am deeply sensible of that attention and kindness 
in all the cases in which I have been concerned with him as coun- 
sel ; and no man living is more ready to give Mr, Plunket credit 
for the virtues which adorn his private life. 

" As a professional man, also, I am perfectly sensible of his 
merits. I have known the powers of the first advocates of mo- 
dern times, Erskine and Curran, Eomilly and Ball, and I have 
no kind of hesitation in saying, that Mr. Plunket is more useful 
than any one of them ; he combines a strength of mind and 
clearness of intellect, with a perpetual and unceasing readiness, 
in a degree which probably very few men, perhaps no man, ever 
before possessed. Others may exceed him in the higher orders 
of eloquence ; but in practical utility as an advocate, there is no 
living man, at either bar in England or Ireland to compare with 
him. 

4< Such are my sentiments of Mr. Plunket. I admire h'm 



DANIEL o'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



107 



amiable and exemplary deportment in private life — and I cheer- 
fully acknowledge his professional superiority and excellence. 

" It is true that I am decidedly hostile to his political opinions 
on general as well as on local subjects. But is it fair to stigma- 
tize, as the rhapsodist has done, this open and constitntional 
opposition with the odium of private malignity ? My opposition 
to Mr. Plunket is founded on public principle, and is limited by 
that principle, and is accompanied by sincere regret. 

" My opposition is not the less decided on that account ; I own I 
cannot relish the public man who advocated the dispersion at 
Manchester ; and the killing of the men, women, and children there. 
I look upon that dispersion — I speak gently — as the most por- 
tentous event of modern times. If there shall be a military des- 
potism established in England, that dispersion will be considered 
as the first step to its establishment. If we are fated to fall into 
the horrors of revolution, that dispersion will be considered as the 
accelerator of its progress. I therefore, as a public man, cannot 
relish its advocate, neither can I forgive the inclusive advocacy 
of the six bills of the last sessions of the late reign. These are 
only some of my objections to Mr. Plunket as a public man. 

" If it be said that, as a Catholic, I have no right to regulate 
my conduct by those considerations, I will not condescend to ! 
reply to the slavish observation. 

" Perhaps some Catholics may be inclined to overlook such 
topics as do not belong to our own cause. But no sincere Catho- 
lic will avoid considering Mr. Plunket's opinions respecting our 
particular question. If Mr. Plunket maintains opinions on the 
subject of the veto, inconsistent with the purity and safety of 
that religion, he ought not to be entrusted with any petition from 
the Catholics. That is a proposition which I hope Mr. Shiel 
will not deny. 

et By the word veto I mean all such measures as would give 
the crown, or the ministers of the crown, a control over appoint- 
ments in the Catholic Church in Ireland. Those measures have 
had different names. Sometimes they have been called ' the 
royal negative,' sometimes ' conditions,' sometimes 6 securities.' 
But the object of them all was in one mode or the other to con- 
trol the nomination to Catholic Sees in Ireland. 

" Allow me here to observe, that the Catholic prelates have, 
m public resolutions, repeatedly condemned all such measures. 
These resolutions declared, that any such measure ' must essen- 
tially injure, and may eventually subvert the Catholic religion Ui 
Ireland' 



108 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



" Yet, Mr. Plunket is a decided advocate for such measures : i 
so decided indeed, that he will not consent to emancipation with- 
out them. I admit that he has consented to abandon the word 
veto, and probably may give up the direct royal negative, though 
I am by no means sure that he will. But it is quite certain 
that he rigidly adheres to ' condition' and 6 securities' as indis- 
pensable accompaniments of our relief. To the veto, under these 
disguises, he is devotedly attached. 

" I prove the truth of this assertion thus : On the 14th of 
June last, Mr. Plunket met a delegation of the Catholic Board 
sent to make inquiries of him on this very piont. He gave in a 
written reply, in which he insisted on 6 terms,' ' conditions/ and 
securities,' as necessarily connected with emancipation. 

" Mr. Plunket was, notwithstanding, by the accidents alluded 
to in my last publication, entrusted with the late petition. All 1 
could do was to have that petition accompanied by resolutions, 
declaratory of the destructive tendency to our religion, of anv 
vetoistical measure, and also expressive of our hostility to any 
such measure. 

" What was Mr. Plunket's reply ? His reply is in print, and 
cannot be mistaken ; and it avowed with all the emphasis of 
italics, 6 that his opinions on that subject were very different/towi 
those we communicated to him f and further, 'that the adoption 
of such conditions was not only unobjectionable, but just and 

NECESSARY. 

" Here is my decisive objection to Mr Plunket. Here is that 
which will make me ever disavow him as my parliamentary 
advocate. I cannot defer to him on a matter of importance 
to my religion ; above all, I cannot concur, and I will never 
again concur in giving him an opportunity, as the selected 
Drgan of the Catholics, to enforce measures which the prelates 
; and people of Ireland have so repeatedly condemned as in their 
nature essentially injurious, and possibly subversive of our reli- 
gion. 

"This it is which makes me extremely rejoice that the peti- 
tion for last sessions is defunct. I rejoice that it has ceased to 
exist, and I confidently hope it never will be revived. 

" I only smile at Mr. Shiel's special pleading — he considers a 
petition to be in its nature irrevocable, and that he who once signs 
it is bound for ever ; and this assertion of his he runs through all 
the mazes of metaphor, as if to escape common sense. 

u I am so certain that Mr. Plunket will not adopt Mr. Shield 
fancies, and convert me into a petitioner against mv consent, 



I j 

DANIEL o'CQXXELL, ESQ., M.P. 109 

! and make himself my advocate without my leave, that I shall 
not add another word on this topic. 

" I have neither leisure nor inclination to follow Mr. Shiel 
through any more of the affectations, the peacock's feathers, and 
the volcanos, which glitter in laboured and puny conceits. I am 
now certain that to keep us petitioning, is the game of the min- 
istry. It was said long since in the French army, that if a 
gentleman conducted himself well as a cadet, he would remain a 
cadet for life. The reason was obvious ; he thus gave useful 
services at the cheapest possible rate ; and thus it will be with 
us. We have only to behave ourselves well as petitioners ; to 
be very temperate, and mild, and forbearing ; to avoid all agita- 
tion, and to be most respectful and submissive, and we shall be 
allowed the mighty privilege of continuing petitioners and cadets 
during our existence. 

" I may now dismiss Mr. Shiel in perfect cheerfulness. I may 
dismiss him to the association of his fellow-labourers in the Cor- 
respondent and Dublin Journal. For my part, I think it better 
policy, as I am sure it is better principle, to join the British re- , 
formers, and to convince them that the Irish Catholics are not 
as they have been often represented by Mr. Shiel's new allies — 
a faction brawling for individual advantages — but men who anx- 
iously and earnestly desire to advance general liberty, and who 
understand in what constitutional and rational liberty should 
consist. 

" It ought not, however, to be forgotten, that he has not dis- 
turbed any one of the propositions which I sought to establish. 
I will sketch them again briefly. 

" 1st. ' That an unreformed parliament has repeatedly rejected 
our petitions without any rational cause, or even any plausible 
pretence for such rejection.' 

"2nd. ' That we have nothing to amend in our political or 
moral conduct, or to alter in our religious principles, and as we 
cannot improve our merits, we must endeavour to improve the 
parliament, that it may do justice to those merits.' 

" 3rd. ' That an unreformed parliament cannot emancipate 
us, because it cannot destroy dissension among the Irish ; the 
instrument by which the Irish are at present weakened and ruled.' 

" 4th. < That the present administration is not one from which 
any accession to public liberty can be expected.' 

" It is curious to see how Mr. Shiel has met the next topic in 
my address. Condensed, it amounted to this — 

" 5th. * That the House of Lords, in the last sessions, devoted 



110 SELECT SPEECHES OF 

months of attention to foreign prostitutes and varlets, and refused 
an hour to the rights of five millions of fellow-subjects.' 

" Does Mr. Shiel deny this ? No ; but he justifies it. He 
says that the cause of the queen was of 6 so absorbing a character/ 
that it ( blocked up all the avenues of the state/ and he adds in 
the happiest vein of the bathos, 6 that in the shocks of an earth- 
quake a house is not to be repaired.' 

" That is, the contemptible and scandalous prosecution of the 
queen is, in Mr. Shiel's poetic language, ' shocks of an earthquake/ 
whilst the rights and liberties of five millions of men are the 
repairs of a house ! !' 

" Thus it is that we are undervalued and despised by our ene- 
mies, whilst Catholics of some cleverness abuse that cleverness 
by degrading our cause, and make our unjust sufferings an infe- 
rior and minor consideration. According to Mr. Shiel, the House 
of Lords was dignified by its attention to Dumont and Majocchi. 
These were shocks of the earthquake ; but the liberties of the 
Catholics of Ireland were mere carpenter's work, too mechanical 
and base for high and noble minds. 

* This, however, is only an instance of bad and vitiated taste. 
There is bad feeling as well as bad poetry in Mr. Shiel's describing j 
the Catholic people as ' unnumbered idle pebbles' This bad com- 
pliment, too, he has given in italics, lest any of our insulting 
defamers should miss the pleasure of the application. Mr. Shiel 
is, no doubt, in his own opinion, a diamond of the first water — 
he is heartily welcome to sparkle at my expense ; but let me 
implore of him with all the earnestness of the plainest prose, to 
refrain from his sneering sarcasms, directed against, after all, the 
finest as well as the most faithful — the long-suffering and very 
wretched people of Ireland. 

" I have the honour to be, Fellow-Countrymen, 

Your ever faithful and devoted Servant, j 
"Daniel O'Connell." 

A couple of months subsequent to Mr. O'Connell's controversy with Mr. Shiel, the two 
following letters were drawn from him, by what seems to have been a very insidious 
attempt to carry some kind of '■'securities'"' measure, without giving Ireland time to 
remonstrate. The bills these letters refer to were suddenly, and without other notice than 
the indispensable forms of parliament required, brought in and urged forward by Mr. 
Plunket ; at a time when most of the Catholic leaders being absent from Dublin, on th« 
spring Circuit, anything like a public demonstration against them appeared impossible 



DANIEL OCONNELL, ESQ., M.P. Ill 

TO THE CATHOLICS OF IRELAND. 

H 1 Yes ; he would rather houseless roam, 
"Where freedom and his God may lead, 
Than he the sleekest slave at home 
That crouches to the conqueror's creed ' 

"Limerick (on Circuit,) 17th March, 1821. 

" Fellow-Countrymen — Mr. Plimket's two bills are at length 
before you. They demand your most serious attention. They 
involve matters of vital importance to your liberties and to 
your religion. The interest they have excited is intense. No 
man can love freedom — no man can cherish the Catholic faith j 
in its purity, without feeling the deepest anxiety and alarm. 

" The crisis has at length arrived when delusion being no longer 
practicable, every sincere Catholic must take a part. Apathy 
upon such subjects as these, and at such a period, is, perhaps, 
impossible, and would certainly be a crime of great magnitude. 
But to render activity and zeal useful and salutary, it is neces- 
sary that you should be well informed and instructed as to the 
nature and effects of the intended statutes. 

" You shall have all the information in my power to give. I 
will state to you simply and plainly the details and object of 
the proposed laws, and make them understood by every body. 
For this purpose it is necessary to strip them of that redundant 
verbiage which belongs to acts of parliament. 

" The first act is really an emancipation or relief bill. It pur- 
ports to give us much — very much • I believe Mr. Plunket thinks 
it would give us every thing we have asked for — namely, general 
eligibility. But he is mistaken. It in some material points 
would not operate to the extent he imagines. However, it would 
oe a great — a very great boon ; and if it stood alone, it would 
be received with delight by every rational Catholic ; and it would 
go farther to conciliate the affections and to strengthen and se- 
cure the fidelity of the people of Ireland, than any law that ha* 
been enacted from the reign of Henry II. to the present period. 
If is stood alone, it would also give unqualified relief; and such 
unqualified relief, even without being half so extensive as the 
present bill, would justly be a source of lively and permanent 
gratitude. 

" The objections which may be made to this relief bill appear 
to be principally these. First — It does not repeal any of the 
penal statutes ; and although it purports to destroy the effects 
of those statutes, it leaves them on the statute book, and thereby 



112 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



subjects Catholics to adverse constructions of the law on future 
occasions. The simple way would be to repeal whatever is in- 
tended to be destroyed, and thereby to take away future contro- 
versy and litigation. Secondly — It provides no mode of remedy 
or redress for the assertion or vindication of the new rights 
which it confers ; for example, it opens to Catholics all the cor- 
porations, but it affords no facilities to enable Catholics to effec- 
tuate their corporate rights. Thirdly — It announces no prin- 
ciple ; it declares no right ; it avoids all assertion of the maxims 
of political economy, and all notice of the impulses of Christian 
charity. It is dry, meagre, and jejune in its style, and is a com- 
position totally unworthy of being the great social bond of affec- 
tion and gratitude between nations and peop's. 

" But, my countrymen, the bill itself is so very useful and 
beneficial a bill that we may and ought to overlook objections of 
this nature. We should recollect that so much of the above 
objections as are really important may hereafter be obviated. 
It may be possible, though it is not probable, that some occa- 
sion may hereafter arise to obviate all the unpleasant results of 
the causes I have alluded to. The bill, if it stood alone, would 
be an excellent bill, and a source of unmixed and enthusiastic 
congratulation amongst the lovers of liberty of conscience and 
the true friends of Ireland. 

" Yet I acknowledge that there is a blemish in the bill which 
gives me some disgust. It is the equivocal language of the new 
oath. When we are called on to attest any proposition, in the 
name and in the awful presence of the Deity, the words of such 
proposition ought to be made as free from ambiguity as possible. 
It is not so in the new oath. Ambiguous language is used, and 
used intentionally, and as it were by choice. In truth, the 
words are so doubtful, and the natural meaning is so repugnant 
to our religion, that we would reject the new oath at once, but 
for the legislative declaration which accompanies it, and gives 
to the words a sense and meaning apparently consistent with 
Catholic principles. 

" I know that the doctrine of our Church respecting oaths is, 
that an oath is to be taken according to the meaning given to 
the words by the propounder of such oath. The person who 
takes the oath is not at liberty to affix another meaning to those 
words. He must either refuse to take the oath altogether, or 
oblige his conscience according to the intention of the propounder. 
Equivocation and mental reservation in oaths have been im 
puted to our Church but have been most falsely imputed. Our 



£>ANIEL o'cCSNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



113 



doctrine is directly the inverse ; and the only reason why I would 
think of taking the oath specified in the new bill, is because the 
legislature which propounds the oath declares, by the same law, 
that it has, and ought to have, a meaning, which I conceive is 
not inconsistent with the Catholic religion. 

" I quit the first act for the present. It is, after all, a relief 
bill. The second act gives no relief, and is simply a penal -and 
restrictive law of the worst description. 

" Before I proceed to speak of this second act in the terms it 
merits, I will give a brief and accurate statement of its contents ; 
a&d I begin with the title. It is called an act " To regulate the 
intercourse between persons in holy orders professing the Roman 
Catholic religion, with the see of Rome? This title is broken 
English and bad grammar. But it is infinitely worse. It has 
all the characteristics of complete falsehood — the { suppresio veri, 1 
the ( suggestio falsi. " Truth is suppressed, because the princi- 
pal object of the bill does not relate to such intercourse at all ; 
but is to give to the secretary of the Lord Lieutenant the abso- 
lute appointment of all the bishops and all the deans of the Ca- 
tholic Church in Ireland. Falsehood is suggested — because 
this is not a bill to regulate the intercourse (for regulate means 
* to order by rule :') but it is a bill to control, according to ca- 
price, that intercourse, and to control it according to the caprice 
of a Protestant secretary of state. It is in this respect a bill to 
suppress the necessary intercourse upon matters of faith and 
discipline between that part of the Catholic or universal Church 
of Christ which is in Ireland, and the Pope or visible head upon 
earth of that Churcb. 

" From the falsehood of the title I proceed to the mischiefs of 
the proposed enactments. 

"The act contains two recitals, and twenty-two sections. Any 
person desirous of ascertaining with accuracy the minutest de- 
tails of this most important act, would do well to procure a copy 
of it, and to follow me whilst I point out its various details. 

" I begin with the recitals. They are to be found — first, at 
the commencement of the act ; secondly, in the sixth section. 

" The first recital is in substance this — i Whereas it is expe- 
dient that such precautions should be taken with respect to per- 
sons to be appointed to exercise the functions of bishop or dean 
in the Catholic Church in Ireland, as that no person shall as- 
sume any part of such functions whose loyalty and peaceable con- 
duct shall not have been previously ascertained to the satisfaction 
of his Majesty, h*& heirs and successors? The second recital — « 

VOL II. H 



1U 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



thing very unusual— repeats the first as above, with the addition I 
of saying that it is fit as well as expedient to ascertain the loyalty 
and peacaeble conduct of our bishops as well as deans. But what 
is the fitness — what is the expediency of such ascertainment ? 
Let me most earnestly, and I will add, most humbly ask, what 
is the necessity, or where is the occasion, for any such ascertain- 
ment 1 Loyalty ! ! Are our bishops disloyal ? Is there a dis- 
loyal man amongst them 1 I will go farther ; has there ever— 
aye, include the worst of times — has there ever, even in the 
worst of times, been a single one of the Irish Catholic bishops 
disloyal ? Never — no, never. I defy a single one to be named 
. as even suspected of disloyalty, and you may take the dead as 
well as the living. 

" There certainly was one Irish bishop tried and executed for 
.treason; and he bore the inauspicious name of Plunket. But 
his case forms no exception. He was certainly innocent. The 
accusation against him was ridiculous. He fell beneath the 
oaths of the infamous comrades of the infamous Titus Oates. 
His trial and his death only reflect disgrace on the more infa- 
mous judges and juries of his day. His fate casts no shade on 
the loyalty of the Irish Catholic bishops. 

" The next thing to be ascertained after the loyalty, is ( the 
peaceable conduct.' Sacred God ! the peaceable conduct of our 
deans and bishops ! Are our clergy, then, such brawlers and 
rioters ? — are our clergy such ruffians and bravoes that there is 
danger lest they should select for their dignitaries, their deans 
and bishops, men who are so likely to break the peace that the 
Protestant Church and the Protestant succession are in danger 
unless the Crown shall be enabled to exclude the turbulent from 
rank in the Catholic hierarchy 1 There are upwards of three 
thousand priests in Ireland ; and yet who ever hears or has heard 
of any of them engaging in riots or fights, or showing any thing 
but peaceable conduct ? Come forward, Mr. Plunket — you who 
i presume, with your double recital, to impute to at least some, 
' if not to all, the priests of Ireland, a tendency to break the 
peace. Come forward and state whether you ever knew, or have 
heard of any other than peaceable conduct. You cannot allege 
that you have ; and therefore allow me, in the sorrow of my 
heart, to ask you, how you could have the heart to put upon 
perpetual record these horrid imputations on a priesthood who 
never offended you. It was scarcely decent in you, the apparent 
advocate of Catholics, to inflict ridicule and even ribaldry, on 
our doctrine of the real presence — more especially when you ap- 



DANIEL 0"CONNELL, E3Q., M.P. 



115 



pear not to understand that doctrine. But what excuse can you 
give for suggesting any danger of the disloyalty or turbulence of 
the Catholic priesthood of Ireland. 

" I will restrain the honest indignation I feel at this part of 
the proposed penal law, and return to its enactments. But I 
must first notice the remainder of the second recital. 

" It is in substance this : — First, that it is reasonable and 
necessary that government should be informed of the nature and 
extent of any intercourse -which may take placfi with a foreign 
power. Secondly — I will give this curious secondly in its very 
words ; attend to them, Catholics of Ireland, as a specimen of 
the species of dexterity with which your religion is assailed. 
' And whereas the laws made informer times against intercourse 
between the subjects of this realm and. the see of Rome are of extreme 
and undistinguishing rigour and severity.' 

" Now, Catholics of Ireland — honest and sincere Catholics of 
Ireland, you who, in spite of the ribaldry of Mr. Plunket, be- 
lieve in the real presence — in that tenet of the sw°otest and 
tenderest charity — in that consolatory tenet which, thank God, 
is sanctioned, not only by the most clear and unequivocal texts, 
and repeated and repeated passages of the written Word, as well 
as by the authority of that Church which, being founded on a 
rock, defies force as well as fraud, Mr. Plunket ; you, I say, honest 
and sincere Catholics, mark me : my reputation as a lawyer is 
of some value to me ; your enemies and mine will admit that 
it is worth me some thousands of pounds by the year. I repeat, 
mark me : 

" I forego that reputation, and consent to pass, for all future 
days, as utterly ignorant of my profession, unless what I say to 
you now be true. And at this peril, and under this sanction, 
and as a lawyer and a man, I tell you that the recital which im- 
ports that there is rigour or severity in any existing law upon the 
subject of such intercourse is totally false in point of law and of 
fact. It is a mistake of the most gross and palpable kind to the 
mind of a lawyer. 

" The statutes to which it chiefly alludes, if it alludes to any 
thing in particular, and is not meant for mere deception — the 
statutes to which it might allude, were statutes chiefly passed by 
Catholic parliaments, and sanctioned by all the native Catholic 
priests and bishops in England. Believe me, however, that 
there is no law of extreme or of undistinguishing severity against 
that intercourse which the Catholic clergy of Ireland have always 
had with the see of Borne. If there were any such law, the 



116 



SELECT SPEECHES OP 



Orangemen of Ireland, in their various branches, would long 
since have inflicted the penalties of it on the Catholic clergy. 
"We owe nothing to either their forbearance, or that of Mr. Plun- 
ket. Our clergy owe their safety to the happy fact of the non- ) 
existence of such laws. 

" Now, I ask you, fellow-countrymen, why this false recital 
was inserted? The reason is obvious — to make you believe that 
this new penal law was a relaxation of some ancient and more 
vexatious statutes, and was a mitigation of some pre-existing 
evil ; instead of being, as it really is, the most powerful and dan- 
gerous attack that has as yet been made upon the Catholic church 
in Ireland. 

" Let us now quit the recitals in this bill, and see whether 
the enactments do not also more than justify my description of 
this new species of assault on our religion. 

" The enactments are of two kinds. First — those that pur- 
port to relate to the intercourse between our clergy and the spiritual 
head of our Church. Secondly — those that relate to the appoint- 
ment of deans and bishops in Ireland. 

" The intercourse with the Pope is to be controlled m two 
ways :— first, by a new oath ; secondly, by a Board of Control. 

"The appointment of our bishops is much more simple. The 
new Board has, in fact, nothing to do with it. There is, to be 
sure, a new oath ; but that goes for nothing. The plan simply 
is, to give the absolute appointment of both deans and bishops 
to the secretary of the Castle. He is, in future, to be Catholic 
diocesan — Catholic chapter — and Pope in Ireland 1 

" I will take up the two subjects in their order. In the first 
instance, the intercourse with Borne ; in the next, the appoint- 
ment of deans and bishops in Ireland. 

" With respect to such intercourse, the bill provides, in the 
first section, a new oath ; in the second section, a punishment 
for not taking the oath ; in the third section it names the courts 
in which that oath is to be taken and recorded. It then, ac- 
cording to the usual contempt of distinctness and order with 
which statutes are drawn up, introduces other matter in two 
sections. And to return to the intercourse in the sixth section. 

" The sixth section provides for the creation of a new Board, 
to control the intercourse with Rome. The seventh, eighth, 
ninth, tenth, eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth, fourteenth, and fif- 
teenth sections contain regulations as to the proceedings of that 
*>oard ; and which I shall detail hereafter. This matter is passed 
»wor from the fifteenth to the nineteenth sections — is taken up 



DANIEL o'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



117 



*£ain in the nineteenth, and continued to the end of the act. 
[ shall have occasion to notice almost every one of those sec- 
tions. 

" But let me, in tho first place, call your attention to the new- 
oath, as specified in the first section. It is an oath to be taken 
by all the Catholic clergy, present and future. It embraces both 
the objects of this bill. I pass over for the present the part 
that relates to the appointment of deans and bishops. As far as 
relates to the intercourse with Eome, it requires every priest to 
swear, ( that he will not have any correspondence or communica- 
tion with the see of Eome, or with any authority under that see, 
tending directly or indirectly to overthrow or disturb the Protes- 
tant government or the Protestant Church of Great Britain and 
Ireland, or the Protestant Church of Scotland, as by law estab- 
lished / and further, that he will hold no communication which 
may interfere with or affect the civil duty and allegiance which j 
is due to the crown. 

" The last clause is quite innocent, and, in truth, is included 
in stronger terms in ciir present oaths. It is to the clause in 
Italics that I would particularly direct the attention of every 
conscientious Catholic layman, as well as of every priest in Ire- 
land. 

"The first question I ask is — will the priests — can the priests 
take this oath, without incurring a direct breach of their duty, 
and the immediate guilt of perjury ? I submit this question to 
their consciences. If they decide in the affirmative, I shall sub- 
mit ; but at present it strikes my mind very strongly that they 
cannot take this oath at all. 

u As far as relates to the Protestant government, this oath is, 
of course, safe, and is, in substance, taken already. But as far 
as relates to the Protestant Church, it appears to interpose fright- 
ful difficulties. The Protestant Church is composed of indivi- 
duals. It is an aggregate of single persons. We conscientiously 
believe that the Protestant Church is in error. We distinctly 
believe and are convinced, that its doctrines are erroneous — that 
is, that the doctrine of each individual in it is erroneous. It is, 
therefore, the duty of every priest, and indeed of every layman, 
patiently and charitably to convince, by reasoning and argu- 
ment, each Protestant of his error. Now, by persuading a single 
Protestant of his error, you do that which at least indirectly 
tends to disturb the Protestant Church. If you were to convince 
them all, you would at once overthrow, or rather annihilate, the 
Protestant Church : and every step in the process towards such 



118 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



overthrow must be a disturbance ; or, at the very least, must 
have either a direct or indirect tendency to disturb, 

" Men may be converted by the efficacy of prayer, by the force 
of preaching, by the strength of good example, by the nature and 
the administration of our sacraments ; in short, by each and every 
iff the functions of a Catholic priest. But with respect to these 
functions, he must be in constant communication with the see of 
Eome. He must hold perpetual intercourse with persons acting 
under her authority. If he takes this oath, he must disclaim 
all communion with that see \ and he will thereby cease to be- 
long to the religion which has been clung to with affectionate 
tenacity through many an age of darkness and storm by the people 
of Ireland. Their priests never deserted the people ; and the 
people will never forsake their priesthood. The present attempt | 
will be as abortive as all the former assaults ; and Mr. Plunket's 
new-fangled oath will be treated with quiet contempt by a patient, , 
long-suffering, and insulted people. 

" Yes, both people and priesthood are insulted by this disgust- 
ing oath. Insulted, not only because of its being unnecessary^ 
so far as relates to government and civil allegiance, and because 
of its direct violation of the charitable duties of the priesthood ; I 
but more especially and pointedly insulted, because, even if taken 
by our priests, they are to get no credit for their swearing. It 
is on this bill a mere superfluous swearing. The priests are not 
to be believed after they swear. Not the least attention is paid 
to their oath. They are to be watched as closely and as severely 
controlled by the new Board, as if no such oath were required. 

" The object, therefore, of this oath is no other than to degrade 
the Catholic priesthood in the eyes of their flocks ; to exhibit 
them in the attitude of swearers at the Custom-house — sworn to 
in every thing, and confided to in nothing. 

" From this degrading oath we will proceed to the Board which » I 
is to disbelieve and to control the swearers. 

" By the sixth section that board is to be constituted as follows : ' 
— The King is to appoint, by commission under the great seal, 
certain persons to be commissioners — five of whom shall consti- 
tute a quorum ; but the number of the commissioners is unli- 
mited. They are to form the Board of Control. 

" The persons eligible to be commissioners are given in this 
order : — 1st. Catholic bishops ; and secondly, Protestant privy 
councillors. Such are the component part of the Board of Con- 
trol, according to the text or body of the bill. The margin, as 
if for the purpose of delusion, throws in Catholic laymen as aim 



DANIEL O'COXXELL, ESQ., M.P. 



119 



eligible, but the body of the bill is silent with respect to lay- 
men. 

" By the seventh section it is that we are given to understand 
that five are to form a quorum for business. The eighth section 
provides that one member shall be the secretary to the Lord 
j Lieutenant, being a Protestant, or ! some other Protestant privy 
| councillor ; and also one Catholic bishop. The margin, again 
; going beyond the text, adds one Catholic layman. The ninth 
section provides that the secretary to the Lord Lieutenant, or 
in his absence, the commissioners first named in the commission 
shall be the president of the Board. The tenth empowers the crown 
to revoke the commission when and as often as it shall think fit. 
The eleventh provides that on the revocation of one commission 
a new one shall issue. The twelfth section specifies the oath to bo 
1 taken by the commissioners. I shall have occasion to call your at- 
i tention to that oath. The thirteenth section enables the Board to 
■ make rules to regulate its own proceedings, 8 nd to appoint secre- 
taries and clerks — aye, in the plural — secretaries and clerics ; and, 
| by way of a hint to such officers, the fourteenth section providea 
that the commissioners shall take no fee or salary. The fifteenth 
section sets out an oath to be taken by the secretaries and clerks. 

" Such is the constitution of this new Board. Before I speak 
of its duties, allow me to say a few words respecting such its for- 
mation. You have too much sense and shrewdness, my coun- 
trymen, not to see that it is a mere form — a mere delusion — or, 
what is vulgarly called in Ireland, a humbug. It is essentially 
Protestant ; indeed, for all working purposes, it is exclusively 
Protestant. For the crown, though it must nominate one or per- 
; haps two Catholics, may nominate five hundred Protestants. 

Then if either Catholic or Protestant commissioner displeases the 
: minister, such commissioner can be cashiered and turned off with 
quite as little civility and less ceremony than you could dismiss 
a footboy, 

" This, therefore, is a mere humbug board. Its complicated 
details are introduced merely to delude. Such a board must be 
I merely the echo of the will of the secretary of the Castle. If 
they dared to dissent from him, they would be dismissed at the 
instant, and more pliant commissioners - found without difficulty. 

" To continue the delusion, it will be said that the Catholic 

commissioners would form a check on the Protestants, and on the 
i ... 
minister, and prevent any injury from being inflicted on the 

Catholic religion. Consider this matter for one nV^ment, and 

you will see how impossible it would be for the Cathciic commis- 



I 



120 SELECT SPEECHES OF 

\ si oners to check any adverse measure. They could do so only by 
one of three ways -.—first, by outvoting the Protestants ; sewndly, 
by an appeal to a court of law ; thirdly, by an appeal to public 
opinion, and to the sense of public decency. As to the first, it 
is absurd to suppose that, the Catholic commissioners will ever 
equal in number the Protestants. That is quite absurd. I need 
not waste time in proving that they never could outvote the Pro- 
testants. You may have Doctor Troy and the Earl of Fingal 
at one side of the table ; but you would have the Chancellor, the 
Attorney- General, Sir George Hill, Lord Frankfort, and probably 
Sir Harcourt Lees, at the other. But I only waste time in prov- 
ing what no man can doubt. 

" The next resource would be an appeal to a court of law. But 
alas ! there would be no kind of legal remedy for any mischief 
this board may cause. We should only be scouted out of a 
court of law. 

" The remaining resource would be an appeal to public opinion 
and to public decency. This at best would be but a poor remedy 
in Ireland, especially after the specimen Mr. Plimket has given 
us in traducing our religion, whilst he appeared to be our advo- 
cate. But even this poor resource is not left, because the oath 
of the commissioners, as given in the twelfth section, precludes 
that, for it is an oath of secrecy. It is an oath that the commis- 
sioners will not publish or disclose any matter coming to his 
knowledge as such, save to his majesty or by his majesty's com- 
mand. 

"Mark that oath well. It precludes the Catholic commissioner 
from disclosing any conspiracy which may be arranged in the 
Board to injure the Catholic religion. But if there should be 
any thing the disclosure of which could hurt us, it leaves every 
commissioner at liberty to disclose that, by his majesty's command ! 

" I have long known that Mr. Plunket was a man of great and 
powerful ingenuity ; but I did not think he had acuteness enough 
to frame so complete a snare for the Catholic religion. I still 
cannot give Mr. Plunket credit for the extreme fitness of his 
c infernal machine,' as the French would call it. I think he must 
have been aided by some personage still more ingenious than him- 
self, and one possessed of deep malignity. 

" I shall now proceed to point out the functions of this hum- 
bug Board, as I have already traced its constitution. These 
functions are declared by the statute from the nineteenth section 
to the end. They relate to all bulls, rescripts, and instruments 
coming to any Catholic — lay or ecclesiastical — from, first, tlu 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



12T 



See of Rome ; or, secondly, from any foreign hod y ; or, thirdly, 
from any foreign individual whatsoever ; or fourthly, from any per- 
son or body in foreign parts acting under the authority of the 
See of Rome ; or, fifthly, from any person or body in foreign parts 
acting under any other spiritual superior ; all such instruments 
— and the word instrument includes letters of all kinds — must 
be laid before the Board. Yes, as the bill is printed, without 
any reference to the contents or subject matter. Yes, this bill 
is printed in a way so general as to affect all his majesty's sub- 
jects upon all topics whatsoever. A Committee of the House 
may, and I think must, confine the operation of the law to matt er? 
of doctrine or discipline, or to ecclesiastical affairs. At present 
the matter is left at large : and this extreme extent proves at 
least the voraciousness with which it is sought to swallow up all 
our religious concerns. 

" Within a given time after the receipt of every such instru- 
ment, it is, under severe penalties, to be laid before the Humbug 
Board — that is, in fact, before the secretary or clerks at the 
Castle. And if they find any thing in it which appears to them in 
any way injurious to the safety or tranquillity of the state, or of the 
Established Church, they are to suppress it : — otherwise they are, 
at their good leisure, to return it, with a certificate of innocency. 

" There is by the twentieth section, a species of exception in 
favour of instruments confined solely and exclusively to the spiri- 
tual concerns of an individual or individuals, with this addition, 
that they must be of such a nature as cannot, according to the disci- 
pline of oar Church, be submitted to lay inspection. With this 
minute qualification surcharged upon the instrument, being solely 
and exclusively relative to the spiritual concerns of an individual, 
the commissioners are to decide ; and if they, e in the exercise 
of their judgment and discretion,' think fit, they may refer the 
instrument to the senior Catholic commissioner, and upon his 
certificate, and upon his oath, the instrument is to be returned 
to the person sending it in. But it is quite clear that the com- 
missioners are at full liberty to exercise their judgment and discre- 
tion, and to read it and retain it if they please. Ay, and to 
publish its contents by his Majesty's command I 

" The distinction is just this : All instruments relative to doc- 
trine, discipline, ecclesiastical and spiritual affairs, save those 
that relate solely to the spiritual concerns of an individual, must 
be read by the Board. They may read those which relate solely 
and exclusively to the spiritual concerns of an individual. The 
difference is only in words. 



122 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



" Such is the intended operation of the new bill ; such is the 
thraldom under which Mr. Plunket would place all communi- 
cations between the Irish Catholics and the- See of Rome. It was 
rightly prophesied by a Catholic vetoist, in my presence, that if 
even a modified veto were given to the Crown, the Catholic reli- 
gion could not survive it fifty years in Ireland. If this bill 
passes, the Catholic religion cannot subsist one hour, except by 
means of disobeying its provisions, and submitting to the mar- 
tyrdom of its penalties. Our fathers would have done so. Are 
we less faithful or less interested in the purity of the Catholic 
faith ? Our eternal salvation is involved in the question, and 
the trifles of this world vanish as empty baubles during the com 
templation of the awful results. 

u There are two questions which any statesman, not carried 
away by an overweening anxiety to injure and degrade our reli- 
gion, would have asked before he brought in such a bill. The 
first is, whether those provisions are at all necessary for the go- 
vernment 1 — the second, whether they be practicable ? Both 
these questions should be answered by every fair man in the 
negative. 

" Those provisions are not necessary for the safety of the state, 
for the following among other reasons : — First, the correspondence 
with the See of Eome is carried on upon subjects of an eccle- 
siastical and spiritual nature solely, and, therefore, upon matters 
which do not concern the State, as the State has no connexion 
with our Church ; secondly, that correspondence is carried on by 
persons (namely our clergy) of unsuspected and unimpeachable 
loyalty ; and, thirdly, if those persons were disloyal, the existing 
laws are already quite sufficient to protect the State against them. 

" The existing law inflicts a punishment upon any person, 
whether layman or clergyman, who corresponds with any foreign 
power to the prejudice of our government, and the punishment 
for that offence is no less than hanging by the neck, but not until 
the party be dead ; for before death the party is to be cut down, 
and his bowels ripped open and flung in his face ; and his 
head is then to be cut off, and his four quarters are to be at the 
King's disposal. I am quite serious. This punishment is that 
which the law prescribes against any correspondence with a foreign 
state contrary to the duty of our allegiance. 

" I humbly think such punishment quite sufficient to deter 
persons from committing the offence, to guard against which all 
the machinery of the new Board is got up. It is, therefore, ridi- 
culous to talk of the new Board being necessary as an adjunct 



DANIEL O'CONXELL, ESQ., M.P. 



to our law of treason. The truth is plain and stares every man 
in the face. The new Board is not intended to guard against 
the idle and imaginary dangers of a traitorous correspondence — 
a species of correspondence which, it is clear, would never be 
exposed to the Board. No ! The real object of the Board is dif- 
ferent. It is simply to place all the details of the Irish Catholic 
Church in the hands of Protestants, and then to control and 
crush that Church in all her branches. 

" Having thus shown that the provisions of the new act are 
unnecessary, I proceed to show that they are impracticable. 
They are impracticable, because, in the first place, the assent of 
the Pope would at all events be necessary before the Catholic 
clergy could accede to them. But that assent will not be given. 
Cardinal Litta, in the celebrated Genoese Letter, although he 
gives, on the part of the Pope, some assent to vetoistical arrange- 
men ts — yet he goes on to declare that the exposing the correspon- 
dence with the See of Rome cannot be listened to even for the pur- 
pose of discussion. We are therefore in possession of the express 
rejection by the Pope of this very measure which Mr. Plunket 
vainly wishes the parliament to force on us. 

" In the next place the Catholic clergy cannot dispose to 'the 
discretion and judgment' of the Board the correspondence which 
relates to the spiritual concerns of individuals. Such correspon - 
dence has, of its nature, a connexion with sacramental confession, 
and cannot, therefore, be disclosed. The Catholic priests of Ire- 
land, whatever their traducers may say to the contrary, would 
suffer to be torn limb from limb rather than make any disclo- 
sure having a tendency, either directly or indirectly, to reveal 
matters known to them by confession. It will, therefore, be 
impossible to submit the private spiritual concerns of individuals 
to any Board, and there must be a very malignant spirit of hosti- 
lity to Catholics in the mind of the man, or men, who could think 
of requiring a disclosure of that nature. And yet, my country- 
men, the present penal bill would directly subject such private 
and spiritual concerns to ' the judgment and discretion' of a Pro- 
testant tribunal \ and that, too, after requiring an oath from a 
Catholic priest, that the particular letter or instrument related 
solely and exclusively to the private spiritual concerns of an in- 
dividual. It is quite in the spirit of this act, first, to require an 
oath from the Catholic priest, and then to go on with its pre- j 
cautions, just as if that oath did not deserve any the slightest 
credit. 

u Another reason why the Catholic clergy cannot submit the j 



124 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



Inspection of all the correspondence on faith and discipline to a 
Board essentially Protestant is this : They cannot, without vio- 
lating their consciences, make such a Board the arbiter of ou. 
faith or our discipline. They cannot suffer matters of such high 
importance to the eternal welfare of their flocks, to be impeded 
and interrupted by either the false zeal, the malevolent hatred, or 
the contemptuous caprice of the clerks of the Castle. They can 
not submit to those clerks the details of crime or of accusation, 
which must be referred to, for example, in an appeal "by a clergy- 
man suspended or silenced for alleged immorality. A single 
case of that kind, published at the instance of the Attorney- Gene- 
ral, commanding the publication in the name of his Majesty, and 
published in the hostile newspapers of Dublin, would inflict per- 
petual ridicule and disgrace on the Catholic religion. 

" I need not follow this subject farther. The object of the pre- 
sent bill is plainly to cover our religion with disgrace and obloquy ; 
to control it at the caprice of its bitterest enemies ; to stop the 
course of its discipline ; to expose our clergy to contempt ; and, 
in fine, to give active operation to all those concealed causes and 
motives which, in the constitution of human nature, must have 
the most powerful tendency to annihilate and extinguish our re- 
ligion. 

"I do therefore say, that the Catholic clergy cannot possibly 
submit to the proposed Board. Mr. Plunket may, it is true, 
make martyrs of them; but let him rest assured that he 
will not be able to make them traitors to their religion and to 
their God. 

" There remains much of this abominable bill still to be con- 
sidered. There remain all its details of the new veto. We never 
before heard, or had any the slightest intimation, of a design to 
extend the veto to our deans. The merit of this extension is the 
exclusive property of Mr. Plunket. This out-Heroding of Herod 
belongs to Mr. Plunket. Let him have the sole and exclusive 
honour of it, especially as he has invented it in his capacity of 
our advocate. 

" There also remain the various and complicated penalties and 
punishments introduced by this bill to be inflicted on clergy and 
laity for the free exercise of the Catholic religion. I must, I find, 
reserve the veto and the penalties for another letter. 

" For the present, I close with an earnest entreaty to every 
sincere and honest Catholic to procure a copy of this bill, and to 
read it attentively. It is the more necessary for individuals to 
make themselves masters of the subjects, because in the present 



f 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 125 

state of the press of Dublin, little aid and less support can be 
obtained. The Catholicity of Ireland is at stake, and no man 
can value his religion who does not at least ixiake himself ac- 
quainted with this most important subject. 

" I pledge myself not to close my next letter without demon- 
strating, if it be not already done, that the present bill is, beyond 
comparison, more strictly, literally, and emphatically a penal and 
persecuting bill than any or all the statutes passed in the darkest 
and most bigoted periods of the reigns of Queen Anne, or of the 
two first Georges. Its title should be :. An act to ' decatholicise' . 
Ireland ; for that is certainly its object. 

" Fellow-countrymen, I write to you in sorrow as well as the 
sincerity of my heart. I place great confidence in your good 
sense. I place great confidence in the sincerity of your attach- 
ment to the faith of the uninterrupted Church of Christ : but 
my greatest and most firm reliance is upon that God, who pro- 
tected our fathers amidst the flames of persecution, and may in 
his mercy guard their children from the pestilence of pretended 
friendship. 

" I am, my beloved countrymen, 

" Your ever faithful and devoted Servant, 
'•'Daniel 0' Cornell.' 



LETTER m 
"TO THE CATHOLICS OF IRELAND. 

M 4 Yes ; he would rather houseless roam, 
Where freedom and his God may lead, 
Than he the sleekest slave at home 
That crouches to the conqueror's creed. 1 

"Limerick, 20th March, 182l 
u Fellow-Countbymen — I have endeavoured in my first let- 
ter to point out the mischiefs of Mr. Plunket's bill, so far as it 
relates to that object to which alone its title alludes — the inter- 
course with Rome. I will now, in the name of God, proceed to 
show you all the abominations of the double veto which that 
bill contains. This veto is the principal and leading purport of 
the bill, although it is studiously suppressed in the 'title. 

" The vetoistical matter is confined to a part of the oath in 



126 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



the first section, and to the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth 
sections. 

" I have already stated the parts of the oath which relate to 
the correspondence with Kome. There is, in addition to this 
passage : The priest must swear he will not concur in the ap- 
pointment of any bishop, save of a person of unimpeachable loy- 
alty and peaceable conduct. 

" I object to this oath, because it presupposes a necessity for 
such swearing. It presupposes that which is a foul, and, thank 
God, an unfounded calumny — namely, that there have been 
Irish bishops of doubtful loyalty and of disorderly conduct. 
Besides this, swearing is quite thrown away. The priest gets 
no kind of -credit for his swearing — the law proceeds with as 
much rigour as if the priest had not been sworn. 

" The veto itself comes next. It comes in the blackest and 
most undisguised colours. Listen, Catholics of Ireland, to the 
simple and efficacious plan which Mr. Plunket has devised,, in 
order to give the Secretary of the Castle the appointment of 
our bishops and deans, and to convert our priests into sycophants, 
and expectants on the bounty of the Castle. 

" The sixteenth section enacts, that every person who shall here- 
after be nominated to the office of bishop or dean, in the Catholic 
Church in Ireland, shall, before his consecration or acting as such, 
give notice to tlie Secretary of the Lord Lieutenant, and that ht 
shall not be consecrated or exercise any functions of bishop or dean 
if such Secretary of the Lord Lieutenant shall inform him in writ- 
ing that he is considered by his majesty's government to be, for some 
reason of a civil nature, a person improper for such office ! 

" Honest and conscientious Catholics, who understand how 
matters are managed at the Castle, what say you to that ? Mr. 
Canning's veto bill was nothing to it ! But I anticipate. 

" It is then provided that this notice, which is to disqualify 
any priest from being a bishop or dean in the Catholic Church, 
must be — what think you 1 Why, under the hand, and the seal 
too, of the Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant ! Wonderful mark 
of condescension ! 

" But lest this precious document should be lost or mislaid, 
and lest there should be any difficulty in prosecuting a conscien- 
tious Catholic bishop or dean, the seventeenth section provides 
that such certificate of disapprobation shall be enrolled in the 
High Court of Chancery, and that an attested copy of it shall De 
evidence against any Catholic clergyman upon any prosecution 
under this act ! 



0ANTISL O'CONXELL, ESQ., M.P. 



127 



"The eighteenth section follows up the persecution to its 
climax, and makes it an indictable offence to exercise any part 
of the functions of a dean or bishop, without having on his no- 
mination signified the same to the Castle, or after he has been 
disapproved of by the Secretary. Now, even on an idle accusa- 
tion for such an offence, any Catholic priest may be dragged 
from his flock ; thrown into a jail for six or eight months, al- 
though guiltless ; and if convicted by an Orange jury, he is to 
be liable to punishment. The extent of that punishment is not 
defined as yet. It may be hanging ; it may be reduced to tran- 
sportation ; it may be only whipping • it cannot be less than 
fine and imprisonment. Punished, however, he must be. The 
punishment is already certain. The quantity alone is doubtful. 

" Such, my beloved countrymen, is Mr. Plunket's bill. It is 
an impudent veto. I will not call it less. It is an audacious 
attempt to place all the Catholic clergy in Ireland under the 
worst species of ministerial control, and also to leave them at 
the mercy of every malignant Orange informer. In the province 
of Ulster the Catholic clergy would be annihilated by this bill, 
and, as far as 1 am concerned, I would infinitely rather perish 
with disgrace on a scaffold than assent to such a law. 

" Heretofore the idea of a government appointment was con- 
fined to bishops. We owe it altogether to Mr. Plunket that the 
notion is extended to deans. The minuteness of his dislike to 
the Catholic Church has induced him to go beyond every former 
attempt ; and he will soon be discontented if he cannot extend 
severity and punishment to the most humble orders of our 
clergy. 

"You have now, my countrymen, the bill before you. It 
gives directly and in plain terms the installation of your deans 
and bishops to the Castle, The way in which the authority of 
the Castle is exercised is familiar to us all. It is parcelled out 
amongst the ministerial members for each county ; and as the 
revenue officers and stamp distributors are now nominated by 
those members, so in future, under this law, the Catholic deans 
and bishops, in each county, would become part of their patron- 
age and emolument Those persons are familiarly known at the 
Castle and in the country by the appellation of ' county patrons. 

" What course should a priest, under that system, pursue ir. 
order to be made a dean or bishop ? He must consult the in- 
terest and court the patronage of the patron of his county — thai 
is, of the chief supporter of the minister amongst the countj 
members. At present, learning, piety, and zeal, are the ingre* 



128 SELECT SPEECHES OP 

dients which facilitate the promotion of a bishop in our Church. 
What will the 6 county patron' care for the learning of a Catholic 
priest ? Our county patrons are, in general, blessed be God ! 
men as destitute of learning as can well be imagined. They are, 
in general, incapable of appreciating its value in any person. 
They would hate and despise it in a Catholic priest. Learning 
would certainly be no recommendation to them. 

" The piety of a Catholic priest would serve him in still less 
stead with the county patron. In the first place, all the present 
county patrons have sworn — have solemnly and repeatedly sworn 
— that the exercises of that piety are impious and idolatrous. 
In the next place, the piety of a Catholic priest may be highly 
offensive to the ' patron.' It may offend his minions or his 
friends, if the patron has any bigots amongst his friends — and 
what county patron has not % — and how many of the patrons 
are bigots themselves ? In every such case the piety of a Ca- 
tholic priest will make enemies for him, in the person and about 
the person of the country patron, and ensure his exclusion from 
all promotion in his church. 

But if piety be dangerous to any candidate for promotion, 
zeal would be quite destructive of all hope; The zealous priest 
should oppose, in private and in public, as far as he can (without 
violating charity), the vices of the ' patron,' and of his friends. 
The zealous priest must oppose the great Education Swindle of 
Kildare-street, which is a favourite to so many bigots. The 
zealous priest must oppose every other fraudulent scheme of 
underhand proselytism. He must discountenance and expose 
the ' patron' and his friends in their plans of making every man 
a kind of founder of a sect, by sending him to pick a religion 
for himself out of what we deem a corrupt version of so much 
of the Word of God as has been preserved in writing, to the 
utter exclusion of that part which has been preserved in oar 
church by tradition. For each and every of these acts he ia 
certain of being excluded from promotion in his church. 

" If he shall, in his zeal ; disturb the minion of the mistress 
of the ' patron;' if in his zeal he shall convert a single Protestant, 
or bring back from error a single stray Catholic ; if by his 
preaching, his prayers, his zealous exertions, he should extend 
the bounds of Catholicity — of that Catholicity which the patron 
has sworn to be impious and idolatrous- — what possibility is 
there of his being a dean or a bishop, so long as that patron 
can exclude him ? 

" Thus, my countrymen, you see at once this obvious conse- 



DANIEL O'CONXELL, ESQ,, M.P. 



129 



quence, that under Mr. Plunket's bill, a Catholic clergyman j 
cannot expect promotion by means of the qualities which best | 
entitle him to it. His learning will be useless to him. His 
piety will be dangerous to him. His zeal, destructive. What 
qualities, then, will serve him ? What qualifications will secure 
his appointment ? The detail is short, plain, and simple. 

" [Mr. O'Connell has written his letters in the little intervals 
snatched from the arduous professional avocations of a busy 
circuit. He has not been able to finish them at two or at six 
sittings, or to send them to us otherwise than in jsortions. We 
promised in the Herald of Tuesday, his second letter on the 
Double Pains and Penalties' Bill, and we were, by the post of 
yesterday, furnished with so much of it as the reader has just 
perused. We expected the conclusion by this morning's mail, 
but, instead of it, we have received the annexed note. The en- 
tire we shall certainly be able to give on the next Tuesday.] 



"TO THE PROPRIETOR OF THE 'EVENING HERALD.' 

Limerick, 22nd March, 1821. 

" My dear Sir — The pressure of professional business has 
rendered it impossible for me to send you the remainder of my 
second letter by this post. I regret this circumstance, because 
1 think it of great importance that the Catholics of Ireland should 
become acquainted with the remainder of the Veto Bill as soon 
as possible. I am particularly anxious that the various pains, 
penalties, and punishments to which, if this bill passes, our clergy 
will be subjected, should be distinctly understood. I also wish 
that the Catholics should see how admirably contrived the bill is 
to prevent its lying for one h.our as a dead letter, and to make 
it execute itself. 

" For the present I can only pledge myself to demonstrate, in 
your next publication, that there has not hitherto existed in 
Ireland any law so horribly cruel to the Catholic clergy as that 
which Mr. Plunket proposes. 

"I am, my dear Sir, your verv obedient Servant, 
Li Daniel O'Coxnell." 

VOL, IU r 



130 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



The bills of Mr. Plunket passed the lower house, hut were fortunately defeated in the 
upper upon the second reading. 

considerable degree of division and angry discussion had arisen among the Catholics, 
with relation to them, but the majority of the country, headed by the prelates, repudiated 
them, and hailed their defeat with satisfaction. 

Matters that occurred during the debates upon them in parliament, drew from Mr. 
O'Couuell the following letter : — 

« TO THE EDITOR OF THE CORK MERCANTILE 
CHRONICLE. 

" Sir — I should pass over in silence the mention lately made 
in parliament of my name, but that I think it may be injurious 
to the cause of .anti-vetoism, if I did not contradict one assertion 
which appears to have been made there. 

" Mr. Martin of Galway is reported to have said two things of 
me : first, that I had endeavoured to procure a requisition for a 
Catholic aggregate meeting in Dublin, and toas unable to obtain 
more than nine signatures ; secondly, that I have no chance of a 
place, or, in his own words, not less true than facetious, that if 
it rained places, not one would be given to me. 

" The first of these things Mr. Martin spoke from information, 
and I beg to inform him that his informant entirely deceived 
him. There was not the slightest foundation whatsoever for the 
story. The tale was a pure invention of the person who related 
it to Mr. Martin, and I presume he will be glad to know how 
little credit ought in future to be given to the person who mis- 
informed him. 

" When I left Dublin there was not the least notion of an 
aggregate meeting. The resolutions in the committee of the 
whole house, as proposed by Mr. Plunket, were so vague, general, 
and unobjectionable, that no aggregate meeting could be held to 
oppose that veto, which was carefully concealed, until the bills 
were brought in, and until it was not possible any longer to 
conceal it. But at that time the^ circuits had gone out. It 
seemed as if there were a very dexterous management to keep 
back the veto until after the Catholic lawyers and country clergy- 
men had left Dublin for the assizes. The consequences which 
were> I believe, foreseen, have actually taken place, and Dublin, 
instead of giving, as it formerly did, and as it naturally ought, 
the tone to the clergy and laity of Ireland, will now receive its 
own impulse from the clergy and laity of the provinces. 

" With regard to the second allegation of Mr. Martin, I admit 
its force and its truth. I receive it as unmixed praise. If 1 am 
not looking for place or office, it furnishes a strong argument to 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P, 



131 



provo that I am honest. In religion I am a sincere Catholic ; 
in politics I am a sincere reformer. I come, indeed, within the 
class of radicals, and owning myself a radical, I cannot be sur- 
prised or displeased to hear it said, either that I am not suited 
for office, or that office is not suited to me. 

u Avowing these principles — looking upon reform as absolutely 
necessary, and the repeal of the union as a measure without 
which Ireland cannot prosper, I am pleased to have obtained the 
censure of Lord Castlereagh. May I never live to sustain the 
infliction of his lordship's praise. He says, ' I have not culti- 
vated the peace or tranquillity of Ireland. The species of culti- 
vation in which his lordship has been engaged, and the fruits it 
has produced are, indeed, apparent. I think that the peace of 
Ireland would be promoted, and her tranquillity ensured by a 
reformed and a resident parliament. His lordship is of that 
class of politicians — ' ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant? 
My plan would be different. I would people our solitudes with 
a free and happy nation ; and the bloodless revolutions on the 
Continent of Europe prove that my daydream for unhappy Ire- 
land may yet be realised. This hope may the more confidently 
be entertained, as we neither wish for, nor want any revolution. 
All that is necessary for us is restoration and reform. 

" I am glad to find that those who deem a public meeting to 
be only i a farce,' are getting up a protest. That is quite right. 
We shall now be able to count our vetoists. In Limerick they 
were, I think, nineteen. One has since deserted. We can easily 
count them — but could they count us % 

" I have the honour to be, 

Your obedient Servant, 
" Daniel O'Connell," 

The divisions which had once more become thus painfully notorious in the Catholic 
body, prevailing during the spring and summer of 1821. They manifested themselves 
strikingly in the dispute which occurred respecting the terms of a requisition for a meeting, 
which took place in July, about the time when it was first known with certainty, that the 
king would visit Ireland. 

Mr. O'Connell drew up the first form of requisition which invited the Catholics to take 
the occasion of their preparations for the king's visit, to assemble and consider also of the 
state of their affairs, and what line of conduct it might be their interest to pursue in tho 
then depressed and gloomy state of their prospects. 

Lords Fingal, Nettcrville, Gormanstown. and Killeen, with Sir John Burke, Mr. Bagot. 
snd other commoners, published a protest against — 

" Connecting in any manner the general question of Catholic affairs, with the object of j 
voting a congratulatory address to his most gracious majesty, on the auspicious event of j 
his visiting this country." 

They accordingly got up anothct inquisition "for I lie sole purpose of addressing 
ditjesty. 



132 SELECT SPEECHES OF 

Mr. O'Connell, anxious for unanimity, readily yielded Ms own views and adoi>te5 tli&ij 
requisition. 



STATUE OF KING WILLIAM 

It was at this time that the old Orange Corporation of 'Dublin, held out, for the first 
time, very fair seeming, but what, ere many months elapsed, were proved to be very false 
colours to the Catholics. The king, driven, as it were, from England, by the execrations 
of his people, and the cowardice of his own evil conscience, was coming to Ireland, heralded 
by vague and deceitful promises and assurances, put forward to conc?liate the Catholic 
Irish, and ensure him, at any cost, a good reception. The leaders of the Catholics were 
not blinded either by the treacherous advances of their corporation enemies, or the 
deceits with which the way was sought to be smoothened for the king's approach. Still 
H:ey were true to the policy of their lives, and resolved to interpose no check to the 
popular feeling, and to seem to entertain no doubt of the lavish assurances which were 
being heaped upon them. Even a direct breach of engagement on the part of the corpora- 
tion authorities, in a manner seriously affecting Catholic feeling, was allowed but to create 
a momentary irritation. 

There had been a kind of promise given, that the annual insult to the Catholics of 
bedecking King William's statue, in College-green, with orange ribbons, &c. r should be 
omitted this year, to favour and forward the conciliatory movement which was said to be 
taking place. The promise was, however, broken, and the customary insults took place 
upon the orange anniversary of the 12th Judy. 

The following report, given by a paper then adverse to Mr. O'Connell (The Dublin 
Evening Post) will 3how that he was not the most eager to allow this- incident to have any 
lasting effect : — 



CAT.IOLIC MEETING. 

" There was yesterday a numerous and highly respectable meeting at D'A rev's- 
Corn Exchange Tavern. 

" Shortly after three o'clock O'Conor Don was called to the chair. 

" The report of the committee appointed to wait on the lord mayor on Wed- 
nesday, and his lordship's letter to Lord Fingal, being read — 

Mr. O'Connell addressed the meeting. He said that hereto- 
\ fore much had been done, and that the conduct of the Catholics 
had been not only pure, but unimpeachable. They had much 
to forget — they had been greatly injured by insult and taunts ; 
yet, when an offer was made towards conciliation, they hailed it 
with shouts and gladness. 

Mr. Wadden (said Mr. O'Connell), one of our Protestant 
fellow-Irishmen, our brother Christian, was the person who came 
and said the olive branch was offered, that it was held out, and 
the Orange should be kept back. Such was the promise, but 



DANIEL O'CONXELL, ESQ., M.P. 



133 



scarcely had the air in which that promise was uttered ceased to 
vibrate, nor was the ink dry upon the letter which conveyed it 
to Lord Frugal, when those insults were renewed, and the shouts 
of triumph resounded through Dame street. I do not (said Mr. 
O'Connell) condemn the lord mayor as being a party, but I blame 
him for not preserving the public peace. If he had put consta- 
bles' staffs into our hands, he would have had a force sufficient 
to prevent midnight outrage. The lord mayor is the chief ma- 
gistrate, and therefore, instead of going to wait upon the first 
magistrate of police, he could have commanded him to his Man- 
sion-house, and could have required his co-operation, and that 
of every magistrate and officer of the establishment, as well as 
that of every citizen. 

We have been told that an application was made to the castle, 
and from thence to a high legal character. I wonder (continued 
Mr. O'Connell), if we were to exhibit a wooden horse, with a 
wreath of green and shamrock about him, whether there wou]d 
be all this going about ; in considering ourselves insulted, the 
best way to do is not to leave anything in the power of our ene- 
mies. My object (said Mr. O'Connell) in shouting when the 
proposal was made, was not that I sought emancipation for any 
particular sect, but that I wished for a repeal of the Union ; it 
has been said, that it never can be repealed ; but that is a libel 
against God and man. The Union grew out of our dissensions, 
and it will cease within twelve months after they shall cease. 
Mr. O'Connell then proceeded to state, that Lord Fingal had 
intended being present, and taking the chair at that meeting, but 
was prevented by indisposition. He (Mr. O'Connell) therefore 
proposed, that a committee should be appointed to ascertain 
what the entire substance was of the communication which had 
been made to Lord Fingal, and that the meeting should adjourn 
to Monday. 

"Mr. Mahon in a few words seconded the motion. 

" Mr. Skeil opposed the motion. For what were the committee to adjourn? 
vVas it with the hope of uniting with the corporation ? The late insult offered 
the Catholics in College-green was too broad and open to admit of such a 
thing. A promise was held out, a pledge was given ; they were both violated, 
the Catholics had been insulted, and it would be weakness to procrastinate. 
The meeting should decide at once on what was proper to be done. Let the 
meeting act as individuals would do in ordinary cases — let them resent the affront 
at once, rather than revolve it in the mind for ever. The lord mayor had in - 
timated to Lord Fingal at the last meeting, that unanimity was much to be de- 
sired, and koped that its blessings, now attained, would extend to the future. 
These sentiments were hailed as favourable symptoms, but the very next day 
«fter their promulgation, the obnoxious statue in College-greeu was coveiikd 



134 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



with the symbols of faction and of BLOOD. Why, then, make further con- 
i cessions to the corporation ? Who will ensure us that further insult will not 
be offered ? The smallest ordinary precaution would have prevented 
the decoration of the statue or removed it. For what were the citizens paying 
such enormous taxes for the police establishment, but that the peace of the city 
might be kept ? For his own part he thought it better to speak out at once, 
and let the matter be deeided. Mr. Shiel concluded by moving the following 
resolutions : — 

44 Resolved — That animated as we are by the deepest sense of gratitude and joy at the 
anticipated visit of our gracious sovereign to this country, and yielding to no class of the 
community in fidelity and attachment to his royal person, we had received with the utmost 
cordiality the expression of a wish of the lord mayor and corporation of the city of Dublin, 
that we should co-operate with them in the celebration of so fortunate an event, and that 
we entertained a hope that the assurance which was given that all offensive symbols oi 
faction should be laid aside, would not have been violated upon an occasion, when all reli- 
gious differences should be merged in one united feeling of devotion to his majesty. 

44 Resolved — That after so distinct an engagement, that all party and offensive cere- 
monies should be discountenanced, the investing of the statue in College green, in the 
colours heretofore employed for the purpose of insult, is a breach of that undertaking 
which, while it provokes political passions into a violation of the public peace, is more 
peculiarly calculated at this moment to interrupt the harmony to which we were earnestly | 
anxious to lend our co-operation." 

" Mr. James Farrell said he had called on the lord mayor ; that his lord- I 
ship declared the decoration of the statue was entirely contrary to his wishes, f 
and that in consequence of these not being complied with he had since with- I 

DRAWN HIMSELF ALTOGETHER FROM THE ORANGE SOCIETY. 

" Mr. Luke Plunket here said, that Alderman Darley had yesterday in- 
formed him, that the lord mayor had advanced twenty guineas towards the de- 
corations for the statue, and that there were upwards of 8000. combined Orangemen 
in Dublin. 

" Mr. Macdonnell approved of the resolutions of Mr. Shiel so far as they 
went. He thought it necessary, however, to go a step farther, and propose that S 
a public dinner take place on the 23rd instant, to which all liberal Protestant L 
and Catholic gentlemen be invited, and that this dinner be wholly unconnected | 
and distinct from that of the Dublin corporation, at Morrisson's. 

" Mr. Costelloe said, that he was present both at the dressing and undress- 
ing of the statue. The mob on the first occasion, was sober and well-dressed, 
consisting, for the most part, of shopkeepers. [A gentleman observed, that a 
Mr. Sutter, and a Mr. Pirn, a flour merchant, were amongst the mob, assisting 
in the operations. It was also said, that Alderman Darley and Sheriff Brady 
passed during the proceedings, and that there was a groan 'for Popish Grant. 'J 
On the second occasion, Mr. Costelloe said, the mob was, indeed, most ragged ?nd 
most infuriated. They were well armed, and many were drunk. There were 
in the crowd several of the 12th Lancers, and he saw these distinctly draw their 
swords brandish them in the air, and vociferate 'down with the Papists,' 'to hell 
with the Pope,' ' to hell with Popish defenders,' ' the Pope in a pillory in hell, 
i and the devil pelting O'Connell at him,' 'to hell with O'Gorman,' &c. 

Mr. Macarthy said he had seen the farce of dressing the statue, and the 
yells of the ruffians were music to his ears, as he hoped their being drunk would 
bring others to their senses. He clearly saw that the trick intended by getting 
the Catholics and the Orangemen to appear cordial together, was to show the 
king that all those reports which have gone abroad concerning this country are 
ill-founded ; and when the king would see O'Connell (the agitator) and Abrahana 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



135 



| Bradley King cordial together, he would conclude that it must be unnecessary 
| for Mr. Plunket to be labouring for the repeal of laws which are not injurious. 
" Mr. Howley was happy to perceive, that his learned friend had yielded to 
the manly feelings of the meeting, in withdrawing his intention to move an ad- I 
journment ; either the lord mayor had or had not the power to prevent the out- 
rage ; if he had, why did he not ? I saw, continued Mr. Howley, a novel parade ; 
about the damned idol of an expiring party ; several ruffians armed with pistols, \ 
surrounded it, as if to tempt the people of this metropolis to acts of violence. 
When the olive branch is held out to us, if we rush forward to catch the hand 
that offers it, and are afterwards deceived, who are to blame — the Catholics or those 
who deceive them ? 

"Mr. O'Connell said he could not bring himself to believe that they could 
not as well decide after due deliberation. He believed Mr. L. Plunket as to the 
conversation about the robes ; but he (Mr. O'Connell) had it from good authority, 
that the lord mayor had forbidden the robemaker to give out the articles. An- 
other consideration, and what ought to go in extenuation of the lord mayors 
conduct was, that he might possibly have no confidence in the military when 
called out, for numbers of the 12th Lancers were seen to join the mob in their 
operations on Thursday last. 

'•Mr. Shiel's resolution was then put and earned. 

" A resolution for a separate dinner was afterwards moved by Mr. Macdoxxell, 
in which the day was left blank. 

M Mr. Howley moved, as an amendment, that the words of the resolution be, 
that a committee be appointed to consider and report on the best mode of cele- 
brating his majesty's coronation. 

" The resolution, as amended, was unanimously agreed to, and Mr. O'Brien 
having been voted into the chair, the thanks of the meeting were unanimously 
voted to 0' Conor Don, and the meeting adjourned to Monday next." 



CATHOLIC MEETING. 

t( Yesterday there was an adjourned meeting of Catholic gentlemen at D' Arty's 
great rooms, Corn Exchange Tavern. 

M At half-past three o'clock the Earl of Fixgal was called to the chair. 

"Mr. Finn shortly addressed the chair. He thought the late outrage on the 
public feeling laid the foundation for the Catholics and Protestants of Ireland to 
join in a petition for the putting down an illegal association. He (Mr. Finn) 
might well call the Orange associations illegal, when they had been termed so 
by the bench, and before the parliament of the United Kingdom. He believed 
the lord mayor was nerfectly sincere in his wish for the conciliation. (Hear, 
hear.) He had heard that an address to the lord lieutenant would be proposed ; 
his opinion, however, was, that nothing should be done in that respect. There 
was a prospect of better times ; unfortunately, the Catholics and the corporation 
could not meet at the present moment. The idea of dining with the lord mayor, 
he conceived, was totally abandoned. (Cries of 'yes, yes.*) An approach to 
conciliation had been made, and at no distant period we might be more succesful. 

" Mr. Shiel said, that under the peculiar circumstances in which the Roman 
Catholics stood, after the facts which had been disclosed relative to the decora- 
tion of the statue in College green, which had been disclaimed and censured by 



136 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



the lord mayor and magistrates of the city — after the violation of the assnraru« 
which had been given by the municipal authorities, that all symbols of party 
should be discontinued, it was matter for the serious consideration of the meeting, 
whether measures should not be adopted for the purpose not only of preventing 
the recurrence of the evil, but in order to put a stop to that system of factious 
domination from which so much public detriment had already flowed. He was 
not inclined to lay any blame to the lord mayor or to the magistrates of Dublin ; 
on the contrary, he believed that this insult had been offered, not only without 
their approbation, but against their express desire. It had originated from the' 
ferocious spirit of a set of men, leagued by illegal bonds in a barbarous and tru- | 
cuient affiliation. He had a confidence in the good intentions of government at | J 
this auspicious moment, and he felt convinced that an appeal for protection and | 
redress would not be addressed to them in vain. [Here Mr. Shiel read an ad- f 
dress to the lord lieutenant.] 

u Lord Fingal, would merely observe, that the impression upon his mind was T 
that the lord mayor had. been quite sincere in his original offer of conciliation ; 
and the noble earl still continued to hold the same opinion, notwithstanding the j! 
unfortunate and discreditable transactions of the 12th of July. 

' Mr. O'Conor Don stated that he had been inimical to any resolution on that ( 
insult ; but on consideration, he thought it could not do an injury and he felt it I 
was necessary to come to some resolution on the subject. 

" Mr. 0' Cornell, could not concur in the opinion that the address on the | 
subject of the late insult was necessary. There were many parts of that address 
which might be contradicted as co facts, and the language was not of that nature ; 
that would tend to allay the dissensions that had too long subsisted amongst 
them. The firing round the statue of King William was practised by the Volun- 
teers of Ireland, a body of men to whom they might look back with pride. 

" The Earl of Fingal. here said, that he recollected when Catholics and j 
Protestants were in the habit of firing round the statue which had been erected ! 
at the very spot where the battle of the Boyne was fought, and that when they j 
afterwards retired together, to celebrate the day, one of their toasts was the Pope's 
health. 



Ma. O'Connell resumed. — He should not speak of cups and j | 
daggers, although there were many bitter recollections that he 
might indulge in, were he so inclined ; but, instead of looking , 
J back for causes of disunion, he preferred looking forward for j 
} reasons for conciliation. We forgave insult — (no, no) — I speak j 
j. not of the present insult ; but, I repeat it, we forgave insult 
1 when we accepted offers of conciliation. By adopting (said Mr. 
[ O'Connell) an address on that outrage, we lose the vantage ground 
on which we are placed. They say they do everything in their 
power to conciliate, and we do nothing ; our reply to them is — 
you, who have been wrong, atone for it. Although I may be 
called an " unhappy man," yet I still declare that 1 hailed with | 
joy, and still hail with joy, the day on which the lord mayor of J 
Dublin (the deputy grand-master of Orangemen) made a peace j 
offering to the Catholics of Ireland 

He confessed, notwithstanding the ridicule to which the admia- 



DAXIEL O'CONXELL, ESQ., M.P. 



sion might expose him, that he was weak enough to -wish to 
see those distinctions, which had been the curse of his coun- 
try, sunk in the single name of Irishman ; and he was credu- 
lous enough to think that " a consummation so devoutedly to 
be wished" was by no means impossible. Indeed, he still thought 
a most important advance had been made by the lord mayor ; 
and he still believed his lordship to have been perfectly sincere. | 

The address proposed went, by implication, to charge the 
government with connivance. Mr. Shiel has said that the Orange 
oaths are illegal ; but what is Mr. Shiel's remedy ? — an address 
to the Castle. Oh ! by all means present an address to the Cas- 
tle, and you will find ample redress. The statue will never 
be dressed again, and you will never be insulted in future. You 
may be told also, "that the courts of law are open to you 
and, should you look for redress there, perhaps you may get the 
opinion of the attorney-general as to the illegality of Orange 
associations ; nor need you be much surprised if, like some of 
the government prints, he should at the same time speak of their 
" immense loyalty J" In my humble judgment, my lord, there is 
but one hope for Ireland — that hope is unanimity ; we owe all 
our misfortunes to dissension. 

Neither our space nor subject will allow of any particular notice of the royal visit of 1S21? 
and its attendant circumstances. The deceit as to the king's intentions and disposition 
towards his Catholic subjects, we have before alluded to ; as also the fact that of the lead- 
ing Catholics, few were really caught by it, although willing to let it be supposed successful. 
But there is no doubt at all that the reiteration, while here, of the king s promises and fair 
assurances had, at last, the effect of causing them to be generally believed ; and we may 
the less wonder at it when it is ascertained from a passage in the memoirs of Lord Eldon, - 
from the pen of Horace Twiss, that the king at one moment half believed himself that A* 
was sincere, to the great fright of Lord Eldon and his associates, who thereupon hastened 
the measures for his departure. On the day of his embarkation, Mr. O'Connell, at the 
head of a Catholic deputation, presented him with a crown of laurel, which was received 
with sufficient graciousness. A few days afterwards, came a letter from Lord Sidmouth, 
expressing, in the king's name, his gratification at all that had occurred during his visit 
to Ireland— his anxiety to promote her interests, and internal peace among her people ; j 
and his desire that all parties would join him in his endeavours for that purpose. 

The orange party — who had signalized themselves by not refraining from their shibbo- 
leth, of " The Glorious, Pious, and Immortal Memory;' even at the corporation dinner to 
the king (though, of course, not proposed till after he had left the room)— laughed in their 
sleeves at this letter. The Catholics took it in earnest, and set about preparing to meet 
jt in what they deemed a corresponding spirit, having summoned meetings and prepared 
the outlines of an organization for the purpose, which was intended to include men of 
every class and shade of opinion. But the illusion about conciliation was noon over, the I 
corporation having lost no time in dispelling it, by renewing their old orange orgies w ithiq 
one month after the king's departure. 



138 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



THE MARQUIS OF WELLESLEY. 

Ik the beginning of the following year, 1822, the Marquis of Wellesley was sent to Ireland 
as Lord Lieutenant, and his coming hailed with very general satisfaction— both as he wa* 
the first Irishman for centuries appointed to the office, and because of his personal cha- 
racter. 

A Catholic meeting was held on the 7th of January, 1822, at D'Arcy's {Corn Exchange 
Itooms) i to consider of an address to be presented to his lordship — 

The Earl of Fingal in the chair. 

Alrer the requisition, &c, had been read, and the object of the meeting stated by the 
noble chairman, who expressed his great pleasure and gratification at having been called 
upon to preside over such a meeting, on so very pleasing an occasion, Mr. O'Connell, who 
was loudly cheered, proceeded to open the business of the day 

He commenced by observing that he was sure that all present 
coincided with their noble chairman in what had fallen from him 
respecting the object for which the present meeting was convened 
— which it was scarcely necessary for him to repeat, was the 
gratifying one of addressing an Irish Viceroy. 

That the most cordial unanimity would prevail in the dis- 
charge of so pleasing a duty, he felt convinced. The Marquis 
of Wellesley was an Irishman, and was always found among the 
most distinguished of Irishmen in advancing her interest and 
endeavouring to ameliorate her condition. His eloquence, which 
was of the most classical and impressive character, was always 
most readily exercised by him on every question that regarded 
the welfare of his native country ; and on no question with more 
impressiveness, energy, and effect, than on that which related to 
the emancipation of his Catholic countrymen ; and whenever the 
day of their restoration to the privileges of the constitution should 
arrive, they must gratefully remember that the influence of his 
example, and the splendour of his talents, have mainly contri- 
buted to the attainment of that desirable object. (Applause.) 

At an earlier period, when the manifestations of favour towards 
the Catholic people were less strong and frequent than they are 
at present — at the interesting and eventful period of 1782, when 
the spirit of liberty was abroad, yet it was not extended generally 
to the Roman Catholics ; and the Marquis of Wellesley was the 
first person to raise a volunteer corps, in which a principle of 
exclusion to persons professing that creed was not acted upon, 
countenanced, and cherished. (Much applause.) After such re- 
peated proofs of a kindly feeling towards us, it was impossible 
not to feel a lively sense of gratitude towards him ; and feeling 
it, it would be unpardonable not to express it. 

Such a man would surely not be seen attending festivals, 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



encouraging by his presence toasts that were offensive to any 
portion of his Majesty's subjects ; and he (Mr. O'Connell) felt 
satisfied that no sentiment would be pledged at any public dinner 
which the Marquis of Wellesley would please to honour by his 
presence, alluding to the unfortunate dissensions of this country. 
Since the arrival of the noble marquis in this country, impor- 
tant events had taken place, which presented renewed and aug- 
mented claims to their gratitude. Mr. Plunket, the eloquent 
and powerful advocate of their civil rights at least, was at that 
moment, if not actually, certainly potentially, the first officer of 
the law in Ireland. (This announcement was received with loud 
acclamations.) This was an appointment at which they had 
much reason to rejoice, not only because their friend had been 
advanced, but also because, by that appointment, Mr. Saunn 
ceased to be chief governor of Ireland. 

Another high legal functionary, he had strong reason to believe, 
was at that moment also advanced to the first seat on the bench 
of justice. It may, perhaps, be indelicate to speak at present of | 
this promotion ; but he was sure there was no man in the coun- 
try who would not be proud to see the Solicitor-General (Bushe) 
dignify and grace the highest station in the department of the 
la*v. It did happen that the Solicitor-General was, on some oc- 
casions, opposed to individuals of the Catholic body ; but whilst 
he faithfully and efficiently discharged his duty as an officer of 
the crown, he never leagued with any person, or any party, in a 
system and determination to oppress his Roman Catholic coun- 
trymen. In his conduct on such occasions, there was always 
found united the talents of the orator and the feelings of the 
gentleman. He never left a sting of angry sentiment behind, to 
aggravate and embitter the insults that others heap upon them ; 
and it had been even said, in the House of Commons, by the 
official organ of government, that " if the Catholics were to be 
persecuted, he was not the man to do sn." 

Mr. O'Connell went over a variety of other topics, pointedly 
marking the many claims which the Marquis Wellesley had upon 
the gratitude of the Catholics of Ireland. In conclusion, he said 
he could not regard him otherwise than as a representative, not 
only of the person, but also of the kindly disposition of our beloved 
Sovereign ; and therefore it was their duty, as well as their plea- 
sure, to testify their respect towards him in the most emphatic 
manner. 

Mr. Shiel seconded the address, as proposed by Mr. O'Connell. The learned gentleman 
who preceded him had so eloquently gone over the topics which naturally presented them- 



MO 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



selves, that it was altogether unnecessary to recapitulate them. There was no sentiment 
in which he more cordially concurred than in regarding the nohle marquis's assumption 
of the reins of government as a special gift of his majesty, and it was certain he could 
not 'make a more splendid donation. Advantages of considerahle importance had already 
attended the commencement of his administration, and he thought that the country might 
sanguinely look forward to additional benefits from the immediate connexion of the Mar- 
quis Wellesley with this country. 

" After some desultory discussion on the topics of the address, an address submitted by 
Mr. Shiel was finally adopted. 

" The address is to be presented this day, at the levee, to his excellency. 

"It was then proposed by Mr. O'Connell, and seconded by Mr. Hugh O'Conor, that in 
order to promote the principle of conciliation enjoined by our sovereign, there should "be a 
doner of Protestant and Catholic gentlemen, to celebrate his majesty's accession to the 
throne, at D'Arcy's Corn-Exchange Tavern, on January 29th, 1822. 

The following Catholic gentlemen were appointed stewards : — Mr. O'Connell, Mr. W.. 
Murphy, Mr. Hugh O'Conor, Mr. Thos. M'DonnelL Mr. Val. O'Conor, Mr. Joseph Plunkett, 
Mr. Wolfe, Mr. E. Therry, Mr. Fitzsimons, Mr. J. D. Lynch. A resolution was added 
expressive of a desire that an equal number of Protestant gentlemen should co-operate 
with the above gentlemen in making preparations and arranging for the intended dinner. 

" The following was the address ': — 

"May it Please your Excellency — We, the Roman Catho- 
lics of Ireland, impressed with a conviction, common to all classes 
of the community, that the appointment of your Excellency to 
the Lord Lieutenancy of Ireland, will be productive of the most 
beneficial national results ; and animated by the liveliest sense 
of the obligations which you have already conferred upon us, offer 
you our cordial congratulations upon your arrival, as the repre- 
sentative of our Sovereign, in your native land. 

" If anything could have increased the gratitude and venera- 
tion which we feel for a monarch, of whose enlightened views 
and beneficent intentions towards this country we have had so 
many striking proofs, these sentiments would derive new strength 
from his having delegated as his representative amongst us, a 
statesman to whose genius the empire is so largely indebted for 
its security and glory, and whose fame we have long cherished 
as a portion of our national renown. We recognize in the nomi- 
nation of your Excellency, an additional instance of his Majes+y's 
peculiar solicitude for our welfare. It is impossible not to feel, 
that in the selection of your Excellency, to fill the highest office 
in the government of this country, his Majesty was not more 
guided in his choice by a desire that the dignity of the throne 
should be adequately represented, than by a benevolent anxiety 
that, through your impartiality and wisdom, his most gracious 
disposition should be carried into effect. 

" It is with extreme regret we have witnessed, in a few counties, 
a recurrence of those local outrages, which at different times have 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



141 



manifested themselves in this country. We trust that it is un- 
necessary to assure your Excellency that we shall be always ready, 
both individually and collectively, to co-operate with government 
in the maintenance of the law, and from your well-known firm- 
ness and moderation, we anticipate the speedy re-establishment 
of order in every part of Ireland." 

This address was most graciously received by his excellency. It is not usual to return 
answers to addresses presented at levees. 



STATUE TO MR GRATTAN. 

A movement was made about this time to get up a " conciliation" dinner, to celebrate 
the anniversary of the king's accession; but after several preparatory meetings had been 
held, the intention was abandoned, in consequence of another open display of orangeism 
at a corporation dinnei . 

At a meeting for erecting a statue to Mr. Grattan, held January 22, 1822, at the Royal 
Exchange, Mr. O'Connell took a prominent part, as he did in originating the idea, subse- 
quently so creditably earned into execution. 

The fourth resolution was moved by Mr O'Connell. 

Mr. O'Connell said that although Mr. Grattan belonged par- 
ticularly to Dublin, the subscription should not be confined to 
any particular part of this country, for he belonged in truth to 
the entire nation. He gained independence for Ireland, -and if 
she has since lost that independence, she should cherish his me- 
mory who gained it for her. He asserted her rights, he procured 
for her a legislative representation, and she was then a kingdom. 
The King of Ireland was then George the Third. As the patriot 
had himself said, in speaking of his country, 'he had watched by 
her cradle, he had followed her hearse.' But if a period should 
arrive, as in Greece, where the plain of Marathon has been im- 
mortalized, when we might erect a temple to perpetuate the me- 
mory of Ireland, the spirit of Grattan should hover round it, 
and his name would be the first sound of the resurrection of his 
country An unfortunate spirit, however, pervades the land, 
which tends only to bring ignominy upon the country. No bene- 
fit can possibly be produced but by mutual good feeling. Per- 
haps it would not be right to indulge in what might or what 
might not have been the fate of the country under other circum- 
stances. In saying this much, he had but just thrown out the 
feelings of his heart over the grave of Grattan. ^ 

This resolution was seconded by Mr. William Murphy. It passed "unanimously. 



142 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



*u the same month Mr. CTCoimell put forth the following address: — 

"TO THE CATHOLICS OF IRELAND. 

" ' Hereditary'' "bondsmen, know re not, 

Who would he free themselves must strike the "blow.' 

Cf Fellow-Countrymen— You can never obtain your liberty 
without an exertion on your own part. I do not mean to under- 
value the efforts of our friends, nor do I underrate the advan- 
tages we possess in having one of the great law offices filled by 
an advocate of Emancipation in the place of its very bitterest 
enemy. I am also sensible of the benefit we derive from having 
the executive government of this unfortunate country intrusted 
to an illustrious supporter of religious liberty. 

" These are great advantages. They serve to cheer us amidst j 
that sickness of the heart which arises from hope deferred ; and j 
we ought, indeed, to be sick to the heart at the repeated disap- 
pointment of our fairest hopes ; to the tantalizing and bitter re- 
petition of expectations raised only to be blasted, and prospects 
of success opened only to close upon us in tenfold darkness. 
Alas ! perhaps the present gleam only shines upon us to make 
the coldness of future neglect be felt with increased ch illness. 
However, let the result of recent events be what it will, we owe 
it to ourselves, to our country, and to our religion, to make one 
effort more to escape from our present unjust degradation. 

" In the history of mankind there never was anything more 
unjust than our servitude. It began by a gross and shameless 

I violation of a solemn treaty. It was increased in the contemp- 
tuous security of a faction, strong in British support, and in the 
moral and physical imbecility of an unarmed and divided peo- 
ple. And now that all the pretences have passed away by which 
this iniquity might have been palliated, we still continue an op- 
pressed and inferior class in our native soil, aliens and outcasts 
in the land of our fathers ; and why, gracious God! why 1 Be- 

, cause some old women, or men more silly still, are pleased to 
draw! out the absurd opinion, that an act of public justice would 
not 'produce any public good,' and that the abolition of bigotry 
would ' lead to unhappy consequences P 

"If such absurdities are any longer to sway the British coun- 
cils, then, indeed, rational men may well prophesy approaching 
confusion. With Ireland convulsed by desperate poverty ; with 
England reeling beneath an overwhelming taxation. ; with Europe 



DANIEL o'COXNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



scarcely hiding the half- slumbering flame of revolt, presenting 
at best but the image of a sleeping volcano — in such a state of ! 
affairs there i3 but one mode of salvation for the British empire, | 
and that is, to enlist under the banners of the throne of social 
order, and of the constitution, all classes and descriptions ot 
men, whatever may be their colour or their creed, and by giv- 
ing them all one equal interest to preserve and to maintain all 
that is valuable and good in the purest parts of the noble and 
long-tried British institutions. Those who wish to be safe must 
continue to fling from power the bigots and the dotards of society, 
and must, in the management of public affairs, consult the genius 
of common sense, and invoke the spirit of Christian charity. 

"What course should the Catholics of Ireland pursue under 
the present circumstances ? This is the question which you, 
my countrymen, have to resolve. It is upon this question that 
I beg to offer you my humble but honest advice. I do not 
think I can err in telling you, that the period is arrived when 
you must make another effort to obtain your constitutional li- 
berty. Indeed, this is a matter upon which I fancy we are all 
agreed, and the only doubt, as well as the only difficulty, arises 
from an apprehension lest, in looking for the greatest of all hu- 
man blessings, civil liberty, we should injure that which is of 
greater importance than anything that men bestow — the un- 
sullied and ancient religion of Ireland. 

" Eai-ly in the last year, very many of the Catholics agreed 
with me in thinking that we ought not again to petition the 
British parliament, until that body was in a state more likely 
to sympathize with the wants and wishes of the people. But 
events have occurred in the last twelve months which have made 
me, in common with others, change that opinion, and which, 
whilst we retain all our former principles, induce us to make 
one exertion more to obtain from the British parliament that 
liberty which we know to be our right, but which we are ready 
to receive with all the affectionate gratitude due to the most 
gratuitous boon. 

" The events which should alter our resolution, and induce us 
once more to petition parliament in its present state, are these : 
— First, we have seen, in the last year, a bill for the first time 
actually pass the House of Commons, which bill (without for 
the present noticing its ecclesiastical provisions) would have 
procured for us everything in point of civil rights which we 
looked for, or desired. Secondly — That bill was read once in 
the House of Lords, and was ultimately rejected by a majority, \ 



Mi 



SELECT SPEECHES OP 



which could not be considered, under all the circumstances, as 
very discouraging to our hopes. Thirdly — The Sovereign who 
was supposed by our enemies to be hostile to our claims, is now 
believed to be neutral, and is probably favourable. Fourthly— 
The King's visit to Ireland has exhibited both the monarch and 
the people in new and favourable lights. The King must have 
seen that his Catholic subjects, although excluded and degraded 
in their native land, were as ready to display their unbought 
allegiance as the most favoured and caressed of the ascendant 
party. And the people, to whom the King has plainly been 
much misrepresented, have seen with delight the delicacy, the tact, 
the taste, and the good feeling which marked the entire personal 
conduct of the King, from the moment he threw himself, with 
paternal confidence, and without a single soldier, into their arms, 
to the period when, with an eye suffused with sensibility, and a 
voice rendered tremulous by emotion, he spoke his parting adieu. 

" Fifthly — The ministerial letter which closed the King's visit, 
naturally seems to be the harbinger of better feelings and better 
days. It has already done much. It has introduced a new 
tone and temper into society. It has mitigated somewhat of 
the natural impertinence of long-abused power. It has softened 
and almost extinguished the bitterness which flowed from pub- 
lic contention into private life ; and men have met and mingled 
and cemented friendships who heretofore scowled at each other 
in secret hostility, or contended with one another in open and 
acrimonious defiance. 

" On the part of the Catholics, the injunction of that letter 
has been most cheerfully and readily obeyed. They have not 
deviated from it in the slightest degree. We may say it, their 
conduct has been quite exemplary, and they have afforded a 
strong and striking earnest of what their Protestant brethren 
may expect from the concession of civil rights. As we have 
shown such readiness to be reconciled, and to bury in oblivion 
every injury — and, what is more, every insult — and as we have 
shown this readiness merely for a few good words, and at the 
expense of a little civility, have we not a right to credit for the 
complete and perfect establishment of a private and public cor- 
diality, if a solid and substantial act of justice be done us? Will 
any man believe that when we have been so thankful for a mere 
courtesy, we should hesitate to cement a lasting attachment in 
return for the great boon of civil liberty. If we have been grate- 
ful for mere civility, what shall we be for substantial favours ? 
Yes, every candid man will admit, that equalization of civil rights 



DANIEL 0X0NNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



U5 



would extinguish for ever religious dissension in Ireland, and the 
wisdom of the king is manifest in the results of his visit and of 
his paternal advice. 

" Under these circumstances, surely the Catholics ought once 
more to petition parliament. We have reason to expect Eman- 
cipation. Conciliation cannot last if the causes of irritation and 
resentment are to be perpetuated. The king's letter would have 
been a mockery, and a cruel mockery, if it were not intended to 
follow it up by removing the sources of heats, jealousies, and 
animosities. We, therefore, have a right to expect Emancipation. 
The king's letter has prepared all parties for it. It would not 
be any victory or triumph on our part over our Protestant 
countrymen. It would now be the combined triumph of both 
Protestants and Catholics over bad passions, bad feelings, reci- 
procal animosities, and perpetual disquietude. 

" Let us, then, my fellow-countrymen, petition once more 
We ought now to succeed. But, should we now be defeated, 
who is it will presume to hope during the present system of par- 
liamentary representation 1 If we are now defeated, we must 
patiently abide the t great march of events/ and wish for that 
great tide of National Reform, which, we are told, is, though 
repulsed for a moment, gaining ground with every breaker. 

" In these 7iews, 1 believe, the Catholics are very generally 
agreed • bu^ there is one subject likely to engross much of our 
attention, in che event of a bill for our relief being again intro- 
duced. I mean the subject of what, in parliament, has been 
called f securities/ but what we have generally denominated < the 
veto.* 

" This is a subject which, I candidly acknowledge, fills my 
Mind with the most serious alarm. Whilst I thought that the 
people were unanimous on the subject, and the clergy but little 
divided, I entertained no fears. But feeling it my duty to speak 
with perfect candour, I am bound to say that the conduct of the 
Catholics of Dublin, while the last bill was in discussion, strikes 
me to be excessively discreditable to them. I cannot express 
the anguish it gives me to make this accusation, because of its 
undoubted truth. If the matters were doubtful, I should refrain 
from reproach • but, alas, it must be told, that there was either 
an apathy or an inconsistency in the conduct of the Catholics of 
Dublin upon this important topic, which does them no credit, 
either as men or as Christians, and which must fill every honest 
Catholic, upon reflection, with astonishment and dismay. 

" I sustain my accusation thus ; the word veto means a pow?T 

VOL II* K 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 

vested in the servants of the crown, either by direct nomination, 
or by an unlimited right of exclusion, to appoint Catholic bishops 
in Ireland. The latter is its more strict meaning. 

" The propriety of granting this power to the crown has been 
in agitation since the year 1805. It has been sought for some- 
times with great anxiety, and at other times with more indiffer- 
ence, by many of those who supported, and by almost all those 
who opposed our claims. On the other hand, the Catholic people 
have unanimously, loudly, and warmly reprobated it. They 
have repeatedly expressed, even in terms of execration, their 
disapprobation of any barter of religious discipline for civil ad- 
vantages. The language of our bishops was not less emphatic 
They said that this power 6 must not only essentially injure, but 
may eventually subvert the Catholic religion in Ireland.' The 
language, also, of the resolutions adopted at the aggregate meet- 
ings, was not only strong but violent. These meetings have been 
ridiculed, for taking the style of meetings of the Catholics of 
Ireland ; but at all events, they were meetings of the Catholics j 
of Dublin, and thus beyond all doubt, the Catholics of Dublin j J 
had most solemnly and repeatedly pledged themselves to oppose j i 
any vetoistical measures. 1 1 

" Matters were thus circumstanced, when last year's bill was I 
introduced into the House. The ecclesiastical enactments in | 
that bill gave the most direct and undisguised veto to the crown, j > 
There was no concealment — there was no mitigation. No priest 
could be a dean or bishop in Ireland, until his name had been ! ! 
transmitted to the secretary at the Castle ; nor if that secretary j j 
expressed his disapprobation of him. Such disapprobation was j 
made final and conclusive. There was to be no trial, no inves- I 
tigation ; in short, it was the veto in terms, and in a more sim- j 
pie, powerful, and offensive form than had ever been imagined 
at any former period. | 

" Well, what was the conduct of the Catholics of Dublin at j 
! that crisis 1 We have seen how deeply pledged they were against j 
the veto. With regard to the clergy, I shall say nothing ; I am i 
not sufficiently master of the details of their meeting ; and of , 
that meeting I think it most respectful and safe to be silent ; 
but I acknowledge that a sigh bursts from my bosom when I 
recollect the approbation they published of some of the oaths in 
the ecclesiastical bill. , 

" But I return to the conduct of the laity. We have, I repeat 
it, seen how deeply they were pledged against the veto. What 
was their conduct ? I know some very worthy men who are 




DANIEL C0NNELL, ESQ., M. P. 



147 



an<rry i-f it is insinuated that they are not strong anti-vetoists, 
but I ask these gentlemen what was their conduct at that time J | 
Did they meet to instruct Mr. Plunket and the parliament of 
their sentiments ? Did they exclaim against this tremendous 
innovation on Catholic discipline expressly contained in the ec- 
clesiastical clauses ? No ; they were silent — they were acquies- 
cent. If they had changed their minds, they ought to have met 
and manfully stated that change. If they had not changed their 
minds was not their acquiescence, inexcusable, and in every 
point of view criminal ? 

" There was, it is true, one meeting : a meeting got together 
by some persons who had manliness enough not to put their 
I names to the advertisement ; a meeting brought together with 
I such perfect fair play and universal notice, that the anonymous 
; advertisement calling it actually appeared in the morning, and 
i the meeting itself took place early in the afternoon of the same 
I day ! 

" This anonymous, and I must say, indecent proceeding, was 
quite an anomaly in Catholic affairs. The excuse was that time 
pressed, and that it was necessary to have their resolutions iv 
London on the day then fixed for the second reading of the bill 

. in the House of Lords. This flimsy excuse is valuable, because 
it shows the real intentions of those who arranged that meeting. 

" The resolutions which passed at such meeting, were not, it 
is said, approbatory of the veto, and I acknowledge that it was 
not approved of in express terms. The want of such express i 
terms was used to delude some honest and well-meaning persons ! 
to sanction that meeting. But was not its very silence a direct 
approbation. Was it not, at least, a plain and distinct acquies- 
cence in the fatal measure of the veto. Indeed the vetoists 
boasted of this meeting, with justice, as their first triumph ; and 

. the very excuse for its rapid formation proved that its promoters 
knew that its vote would convey something more intelligible to 
the House of Lords than mere barren praise of the individuals 
who advocated the bill in parliament. It was accordingly re- 
ceived as an approval of the bill in its worse shape, by all the 
peers to whom the resolutions were transmitted. The thing could 
not be misunderstood by any indifferent person. 

" Thus, by dexterity, and a species of side-wind, the Catholics 
of Dublin are at this moment committed to an approval of that 
measure, which they often so unanimously and so loudly con* 
demned ; and that which I still do fondly believe no man coul 
have audacity enough openly to propose, has been effected by 



148 SELECT SPEECHES OF 



management and trick, which I must say deserve anything but 
applause. 

" Catholic fellow-countrymen, excuse me for this plain speak- 
ing. I suppress all feelings of anger towards the persons engaged \ 
in the machinery of that meeting. I will not name one of them 
— and I would consent to bury the recollection of that transac- 
tion in perpetual oblivion : but that, alas ! it may, and, I think, j 
must, in some degree, influence the great question which must 
arise upon the preservation of the independence and purity of 
the Catholic Church in Ireland, both of which I am, in my con- 
science, convinced, would be lost if the bill of last year had 
passed into a law. 

" With these impressions, I thought it my duty, before the 
parliament could again meet, to make an effort to obviate the j 
mischief of a vetoistical bill. The grounds upon which a veto 
has been required were stated to be apprehensions, that as the 
nomination of our bishops rested with the Pope, who is, of ne- 
cessity, a foreigner, he might, either by mistake, or at the instance 
of foreign, and perhaps of hostile powers, appoint to Catholic 

I sees in Ireland persons inimical to the king or constitution. 

! It must be admitted that there is something theoretically plau- 
sible, if not forcible, in this objection. It is one which may 

I strike and convince a fair and candid man ; especially if he was 
not minutely acquainted with the Catholic priesthood of Ireland. 
Those who know that priesthood best entertain no fear on the 
subject. 

" But as this argument existed ; as these fears prevailed, or 
were said to prevail in parliament, it was right to meet them. 
We answered the objection, by referring to the laws against se- 
dition and treason, which were sufficient to coerce our bishops, 
as well as our laity. We appealed to the oaths of allegiance 
which our bishops most cheerfully took ; and, finally, we appealed 
to the experience of a century of unblemished loyalty on the part 
of our clergy, although it was a century of degradation, insult, 
contumely, and even of persecution ; we asked with confidence, 
were they not loyal, even when you persecuted them ? Is it in 
human nature that they should be less so if they have your pro 
taction and countenance ? 
j " I must say that if we were treated with the deference and 
respect we deserve, the answers to these two questions would 
have decided the subject. But the misfortune is that even our 
friends are apt to treat us with something of a contemptuous 
swperiozity which can be justified only by the miserable jealousies 



DANIEL O'COXNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



149 



j ' and dissensions which prevail amongst ourselves. Passing this 
I over, I have only to add that the objection continued, notwith- 
standing our reply ; and it has become a kind of fixed principle 
with some of our advocates, that emancipation must be accom- 
panied with some securities against foreign influence in the 
appointment of our bishops. 

" It struck my mind that some plan might be devised, which, 
whilst it left the Catholic Church of Ireland free from, and un- 
contaminated by, courtly control, might at the same time totally 
destroy the force of an argument in favour of the veto, to be 
derived from the apprehension of foreign influence ; with this 
view, I consulted some of the Catholic clergy, and as the result, 
I drew up the plan which will be found marked No. 1, and at 
the end of the letter. 

" I then waited on Mr. Plunket, to submit to him my ideas 
on this subject. He received me with great kindness, and with j 
the most perfect attention. He discoursed with me the matter, j 
calmly and coolly, with a good feeling and of course with good ! 
! sense, as a statesman, and friend to religious liberty. I cannot | 
speak too highly of the temper and disposition which Mr. Plun- 
ket evinced at all the interviews which I had with him. He has 
convinced me that he is desirous of carrying our emancipation, 
I making as little sacrifices to English prejudices as he possibly 
can. I wish to be the more distinct in expressing this opinion 
j of Mr. Plunket' s candour, that it may serve as a refutation of 
j the sentiments which I formerly entertained and published on 
this topic. 

" A communication has been opened between Mr. Plunket 
and the Catholic bishops. He is ready, I believe, to receive 
their sentiments with deference ; and, 1 am sure, he will respect 
their conscientious scruples, on the details of the ecclesiastical 
clauses in a future emancipation bill. I am also warranted in ! 
saying that Mr. Plunket must be convinced that there is" every 
disposition on the part of the Catholics, clergy as well as laity, 
to seek for emancipation in the most conciliatory manner ; to 
soften, and, if possible, to subdue every prejudice; and to resist 
only such measures as may either injure, or have a tendency to 
injure, their religion. He perceives that the objections to 'the 
veto' have nothing of faction or bigotry in them — that they are 
purely conscientious — and, that it would be impossible to frame 
any statute, calculated to produce tranquillity in Ireland, if that 
measure were accompanied by ' the veto.' 

" The progress which has been made in the discussion is just 



150 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



s this : ' First, the unlimited negative is found to he quite impracii- 
I sable, and given up, and a limited and defined rigid of rejection 
is alone sought for.'' AVhether or not it can be conceded, is an- 
other question — no more is at present required. This will be 
more distinctly seen by a reference to the subjoined paper, 
marked No. 2, which contains, in Mr. Plunket's own language, 
the only objections he made to my plan, No. 1. I have the ori- 
ginal in Mr. Plunket's own hand- writing. Secondly, the nature 
and precise extent of such limited power of rejection, as well as 
the question of whether it can be practicable at all, without a vio- 
lation of Catholic principles, are still in discussion ; and that dis- 
cussion has assumed a shape which induces me to hope for a 
favourable result. Thirdly, Mr. Plunket has readily consented , 
to introduce a provision into the new Emancipation Bill, in order 
to secure the property in Catholic chapels and chapel houses ; 
and for the establishment of Catholic charities to the same extent i 
to which the chapels and charities of the various classes of dis- 
senters in England are now protected by law. 

" He has been good enough to allow me to suggest the form in 
which a clause to the above effect should be submitted to theHouse 
of Commons. This is an object of great importance. Fourthly, 
the exemplary conduct of the Catholic clergy, without any excep- 
tion whatsoever, in all the disturbed districts — their extreme 
j utility in checking and mitigating, where they could not possibly 
control, the infatua ted spirit of domestic insurrection, are recog- 
nized and admitted. I believe it is distinctly felt, that the Ca- 
tholic clergy could not possibly render the eminent services they 
now do to the government, if they were to lose any part of their 
influence over the people ; and which influence vetoistical ar- 
rangements would have a direct tendency to weaken, if not totally 
\ to extinguish • if the clergy were selected by the state, they 
| would lose all their political influence ; so that in point of fact, 
! it is, I believe, felt and understood, ,that the government by pos- 
sessing a vetoistical power, would be likely to lose an efficient control 
over the people ; while they would gain nothing that could com- 
i pensate them for the increased discontent which the veto would 
, ! certainly excite. \ I fear it would, at this moment, produce effects 
I of a most disastrous character. 

| " Under those circumstances, it is for the Cathol>es of Ireland j 
to consider whether they ought not immediately petition. In 

j my humble opinion they ought ; and they ought also to consider 
whether some combined consultation may not take place between 
ihe clergy of all classes and the laity, to ascertain what may bo 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



done in the shape of domestic nomination to satisfy English pre- I 
judices, and do away all possible apprehension of foreign in- j 
fiuence amongst onr clergy. 

" It is time that this question was set at rest. It is time j 
that, if we can make with perfect safety any concession to smooth 
the road to Emancipation, we should do so— not at the dictates 
of chance or passion, but as the solemn result of consultation 
and deliberate arrangement. If, on the other hand, it shall ap- 
pear that no fragment of that sacred edifice, which our ancestors 
have left us as a most precious inheritance, can be touched with 
safety, why then, let us one and all resolve, in the name of God 1 
not to accept of any civil rights at the expense of any danger j ; 
whatsoever to our religion. While matters remain in their pre- ; 
sent state, great danger arises, lest by a sudden and ill-arranged 
relief bill, Emancipation may take place in a manner calculated 
to disgust everybody and please no one. It would be unfortu- 
nate, indeed, that a bill intended to produce permanent tran- j 
quillity should be an immediate provocative of fresh and new j 
discontent, and it would be miserable policy to superinduce the j 
frenzy of a religious contest upon the cruel policy of the servile 
war which now rages in so many of our districts. 

" There seems to me but one way to prevent much mischief, 
but one way to arrange rationally the course fit to be pursued. It 
consists in making some such selection of individuals as that 
which constituted the Catholic Board ; it might, and I think j 
ought, to be limited to this particular purpose. I do not sug- j 
gest the establishment of such a Board as may afford our enemies 
an occasion of accusing us of forming a debating club. But 
there is a great national question pressing itself directly upon 
our attention. There may, possibly, be amongst us men who 
would barter some of their religion (or, perhaps, I should say, 
some of our religion) for a chance of civil rights. If there be j 
any such, they are the most dangerous of our enemies. Whether 
there be or not, it is certain that our question cannot come be- 
fore parliament, without involving discussions and clauses upon 
the subject of 1 securities.' It would be idle to expect that it 
should not be so ; and it would be criminal not to be prepared 
for such discussion and for such clauses. If a Catholic Board 
were formed, there would be no danger of the present attorney- ! j 
general's distorting the Convention Act to prevent their meeting. 
There is also no danger of the introduction of extraneous or irri- 
tating topics. No more publicity would be necessary for their 
proceedings than just enough to prevent their acting in contra- 



152 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



diction to the public judgment or public feeling. The king's 
letter has brought the Catholic gentry to a temper, calculated 
in a high degree to combine the most respectful moderation with 
proper firmness. I would pledge my existence that not one 
single irritating expression would be heard, nor any course pur- 
sued, bnt that which would increase and cement cordiality and 
good feeling, and tend to promote the views and intentions ex- 
pressed in the king's letter. 

" Without some such Board, the Catholic cause in Ireland 
cannot be discreetly or safely conducted in its present stages. 

" Should any plan of this kind be adopted, the struggle for- our 
liberties may easily be brought to a close in the most amicable 
manner. Things cannot remain as they are. The recent census 
in Ireland, however imperfectly taken, gives an actual return of 
names to the amount of within a few thousands of seven mil- 
lions. It is probably half a million below the mark. But take 
it at seven millions. It will not be disputed but that the Ca- 
tholics are five millions and a half of that number — that is at 
the least full one-third of the entire population of the empire. 
There may be one, but are there tivo instances in the world, of sober 
folly that could dream of our remaining as we are ? No 1 1 re- 
peat it, things cannot remain as they are. It is quite too late to 
think of going back. To re-enact a penal law would be to 

M ' Cry havoc, and let slip the clogs of war/ 

To go forward well, we should go forward with unanimity — una- 
nimity not amongst the Catholics alone, but unanimity amongst 
the Protestants and Catholics. Every reasonable prejudice which 
may exist amongst the Protestants, either of England or Ireland, 
should be treated with courtesy, discussed with good temper, 
and satisfied by anything short of a sacrifice of any part of our 
religion. I Jcnoiu that many Protestants in Ireland are ready 
to meet us in perfect sincerity of these sentiments, and with a 
perfect reciprocity of good feeling. It is not the interest of the 
English nation, much less of the government, to increase exas- 
peration in Ireland. On the contrary, it is their duty — and it 
is, I am convinced, the inclination — of the representative of the 
king in Ireland, and of the king himself, to produce tranquillity 
and harmony by these constitutional methods, which alone de- 
serve to succeed. If the Catholics be not wanting to themselves, 
they may procure their civil rights, and preserve unimpaired 
the doctrine and the discipline of their ancient Church. 

" A proper petition, and a discreet and rational Board or coxr> 



DANIEL o'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



153 



mittee, are essentially necessary to enable us to steer through the 
remaining difficulties in the way of Emancipation. It is only 
by some organ of this kind that the mutual desire to make Eman- 
cipation satisfactory to all parties can be carried into effect. 
Without such an organ as this, distrust and jealousy will be 
perpetual in our own body, and no determination will have 
weight or importance enough to guide the public sentiment, or 
to obtain the public confidence. We might easily cashier it at 
once if it deviated from its intended objects. Whilst it pursued 
those objects with prudence, caution, fidelity, and perfect good 
temper, it would not only be of great utility in forwarding the 
claims of the Catholics, but it might be easily turned, by the 
government, to the great objects of restoring tranquillity through* 
out Ireland. 

" In fine, fellow-countrymen, our emancipation is probably 
within our grasp ; by prudent measures, we may now secure it. 
By our own misconduct, we may lose the present opportunity. 
There are no men so dangerous to our liberties as those who are 
ready to give too great a price for them. The flippancy with 
which some few exposed their anxiety to purchase civil rights at 
the expense of religion, has created alarm, disgust, and jealousy 
among the Catholics at large. It has prevented a combination 
of exertion ; it has paralyzed our best efforts ; and if these per- 
sons will not now submit to the universal sentiment of the Ca- 
tholic people, and join in preventing a hasty legislation touching 
our ecclesiastical affairs, they will assuredly retard, and may pre- 
vent that emancipation of which they themselves are so desirous. 

u I conclude by conjuring you, my fellow-countrymen, to seek 
for your civil rights only in such a way that, whether you ob- 
tain them or not, you may preserve from every injury the 
doctrine and the discipline of the Catholic Church in Ireland. 
" I have the honour to be, 

" Fellow-countrymen, 

" Your faithful humble Servant, 

"Daniel O'Connell." 

"No. I. 

" Proposed Plan for the Domestic Nomination of the Catholic 
Prelates in Ireland, including full Security to the Government 
against the appointment of any disaffected or disloyal Person, 

" First — That by virtue of an agreement with his Holiness 
the Pope, the succession of the Irish Catholic prelates be pro- 



fgi SELECT SPEECHES OF 

vided for by purely domestic nomination "or election, and that 
no person shall be eligible to a Catholic see in Ireland but a 
natural born subject of the Crown of Great Britain, who shall 
have taken the oath of allegiance in one of the superior courts 
in Dublin, and shall have discharged the duties of a clergyman 
for at least five years in Ireland. And that the electors to each 
see be not only ecclesiastics and subjects bound by the" same 
oath, but also the most respectable by their rank and character 
— that is to say, either the Roman Catholic bishops of the pro- 
vince in which the vacant see is situated, or the dean and chap- 
ter of the vacant diocese ; and if the latter, that every diocese 
be provided with its dean and chapter, composed of at least 
t wenty-four of the most virtuous and the most learned of the 
I clergy. 

" Secondly — That a see being vacant, the electors shall be 
i called together — if bishops, by their metropolitan or senior suf- 
I fragan, or if canons, by their dean. That previous to any other 
I proceeding for nominating to the see, the head elector, whether 
metropolitan or senior suffragan, or dean, shall take a solemn 
oath in presence of the assembly, that he will not give his vote 
for any person who has not been known to him by the most satis- 
factory proofs to be strictly loyal and peaceable in his principles 
and conduct, and that the same oath be then administered by 
him to all the electors, and be taken by each of them as an in- 
disputable qualification for exercising the right of suffrage. 

u Thirdly — That the person elected shall not be consecrated 
unless due notice of his appointment be officially transmitted by 
the president of the electors to the seat of government, and two 
months be allowed for investigating his character ; and that if, 
within that space of time, the government should assign, in dis- 
tinct and specific terms, a charge of disloyalty or disaffection 
against him, that the charge be referred to the examination and 
decision of the Eoman Catholic Archbishops? of Ireland, with 
full liberty to hear the answers of the accused, and require proofs 
on the part of government. That it be incumbent on this tri- 
bunal, if the innocence of the accused be fully established, to 
have him consecrated as soon as canonical institution can be re- 
ceived. But if the accusation be not fully and satisfactorily 
disproved, then that the archbishops do forthwith issue an order 
to the electors to proceed to a new nomination ; and that simi- 
lar proceedings do follow every subsequent election, until a per- \ 
son shall be elected, against whom no objection on the part of I 
government shall be established, as aforesaid. j 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



"That every Catholic bishop in Ireland shall, within the 
space of six months after his election, or, if the present bishops, 
shall within six months after the passing of an emancipation 
bill, take and subscribe an oath in one of the superior courts in 
Dublin, to this effect : — That he will not correspond with any 
pope, prince, prelate, or potentate, or any other person, out of 
the British dominions, upon any political subject whatever ; ; 
and that if any pope, prince, prelate, or potentate, or any other : 
person whatever, shall write to him, or directly or indirectly 1 
communicate with him on political topics, he will with all con- 
venient speed transmit under his hand to government a true 
copy of so much of every such bull, rescript, mandate, letter, 
writing, or communication whatsoever, as may relate to politi- 
cal affairs, in anywise, directly or indirectly, being or having a i 
tendency to be injurious to the rights of the crown or the govern- 
ment, or to the civil or temporal interests of any part of his Ma- 
jesty's subjects. 

No. II. 

"Mr. Plunhet's Observations on the proposed Plan:. 

" Instead of a specific charge to be established by specific 1 
proof, and to be repeated indefinitely, wQuld it not be more ad- 
visable that the objection should be general : that the person no- 
minated is considered as not well affected to the state, and let the 
party objected to be thereupon put aside? To avoid the objec- 
tion that this right might be exercised so as to amount to a no- 
mination, there might be a limit to the number of times, and 
then the next person nominated by the proper electors to be 
liable to no further question. 

" This would avoid the possibility of a person filling a see, | 
after being charged by the government with disaffection, which 
would be doubly injurious — first, as affixing some stigma to a 
dignified functionary ; and, secondly, as almost necessarily creat- 
ing in his mind a feeling of hostility. 

" The requiring a strict proof of a definitive charge of disloyalty 
would, I apprehend, render the power of objecting altogether 
ineffectual. 

" On the part of the proposal respecting the intercourse, no- 
thing occurs save as to the passage underlined in the proposal, 
which would, as it appears, have the effect of authorizing the 
holding a correspondence on subjects affecting the whole fraine 



156 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



of government and affairs of the state, provided the party cor- 
responding were of opinion that the proposed measures were 
not injurious. 

we now come to a scene, the record of whieh will give some idea of the troubles through 
«rhich Mr. O'Connell had to pass, and in which he did not allow the provocations he 
received, to divert him from following up his idea of his duty to Ireland : — 

"Yesterday (Wednesday, February 13th, 1822), an Aggregate Meeting of the 
Catholics of Ireland was held at Denmark-street Chapel, pursuant to public 
advertisement. 

"At half-past one o'clock, Sir Thomas Esmonde was called to the Chair 

" Mr. O'Gorman stated the object of the meeting. He said, they had met for 
the purpose of considering the propriety of petitioning the legislature for a repeal 
of these laws which still aggrieve the Catholics of Ireland. 

" O'Conor Don moved that the petition which had just been read should be 
adopted as the petition of the Catholics of Ireland. 

"This motion was seconded by E. Moore, Esq., and having been put from 
the Chair, passed unanimously. 

" Mr. K Mahon then moved that the first resolution, which had been agreed 
to by the sub-committee, should be read. 

Mr. O'Gorman read the resolution, which was as follows: — 

"Resolved — 'That we deem it essential to our honour and interests, that as speedy 
n discussion as possible, in the present session, may ba obtained on the merits of on? 
pot i lion.' 

" Mr. Mahon moved that this resolution should be adopted by the general 
meeting. 

" J. E. Dillon, Esq., seconded the motion. 

"Mr. Hugh O'Connor stated, that having heard that resolution read on the 
preceding night, he came to the present meeting with a feeling of reluctance ■ 

"Mr. O'Connell — 'Before Mr. O'Connor speaks to the resolution which has 
been moved and seconded, it is right, in point of order, that it should be put 
from the Chair. Mr. O'Connor will then have an opportunity of speaking to 
the question.' 

"The question was then put from the Chair, after which 

"Mr. O'Connor resumed — 'Mr. Chairman, I have said, that having heard 
the resolution read on the preceding night, that I came to the meeting with a 
feeling of reluctance. I am as anxious, sir, for the honour and the interests of 
the Catholic body as any individual in this assembly, but I conceive the present 
moment to be critical ; and anxious as we may be for the attainment of our 
object, we ought not to discard prudence. We have a good cause ; and nothing 
but a want of moderation, or, rather, impatience (if that word is liked better), 
can render it a bad one. In the late debate in parliament, when the House of 
Commons was devising means for the suppression of the outrages which have 
lately taken place in Ireland, it was with infinite regret I perceived that a minis- 
ter of the crown advised that there should not be any attempt, for the present, 
to discuss the Catholic claims. Why this allusion should be made to the Catho- 
lics at such a moment I cannot well conceive : the Catholics are no way con- 
nected with the late outrages that have unhappily taken place (hear, hear). 
The observation, however, has been made, if the newspapers report correctly, by 
the minister, who is also our distinguished friend. However much I regret this 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., It. P. 



jteurrcnce, I do tl.ink that we should not act imprudently in consequence cf it 
I think the word 'speedy' in the petition, and also in the resolution which hay 
been just read, not decorous or well-advised. 1 would, therefore, move, as an 
amendment — 

*' 'That the petition of the Catholics of Ireland be committed to the care of the Eigbt 
Ron. the Earl of Donoughmore, and the Right Hon. William Conynghara Plunket, wtlli 
a respectful request that they will present it for discussion to Doth houses of parliament, 
at fetich period in the present session as they may conceive most beneficial for Catholic 
interests.' 

"Mr. O'Connor resumed — l l recollect having waited on Mr. Plunket, abcU 
a year and a half ago, when that gentleman was first entrusted with the care 01 
our petition ; I was one of a deputation that had been appointed for the pur- 
pose. When we inquired of Mr. Plunket at what time the petition would be 
presented, he said that he would have to consult the friends of the measure, and 
that it should he laid before the house at the moment most favourable to Ihf 
attainment of their object. The resolution which I have now proposed is in uni- 
son with the sentiments of that most distinguished supporter of Catholic claims, 
of the value of whose advocacy we are all so fully sensible.' 

" James Edward Devereux, Esq., seconded Mr. O'Connor's amendment. 
The only difference betw r een it and the original resolution was, whether they 
should press the immediate discussion of their petition, or leave it to their advo- 
cates to select the time they shoidd conceive most beneficial for Catholic inte- 
rests, limited, however, to the present session. 

" O'Conor Don had heard with regret of the disturbances in the country; he 
knew the Roman Catholics to be as ready to put down disturbances as any others 
of his majesty's subjects could be. He conceived the present the most proper 
time for petitioning. No man would be inclined to give Lord Londonderry .more 
credit for what he had done than himself ; but they w^ere not to be kept back 
by any talk of prudence. He conceived that it w r as for our honour and interests 
that oar question shoidd be speedily brought before parliament ; but we do not 
dictate the time to our advocates : we only express our own opinions. 
Mr. Howley, in a long speech, supported the amendment. 

" Mr. Edward Moore supported the original resolution. 
Considerable confusion prevailed, amid which Mr. O'Connell arose, and 
spoke as. follows : — 

Mr. O'Connell — I never rose to address a Catholic meeting 
with more pleasure than I feel on the present occasion. Our 
conduct has been such, that we have deserved to be emanci- 
pated, and we will be emancipated (hear, hear), if we do not, by 
any idle bickering among ourselves, retard the progress of our 
cause. I will point out to these gentlemen the course to be 
pursued, by which we will be most likely to attain the object we 
have in view. But first, let me congratulate my Catholic fellow- 
countrymen on the progress that we have already made • and I 
trust that I am guilty of no impiety, when, in the temple of my 
God, I thank that God for the unanimity we have evinced this 
day, in adopting that petition. With respect to that petition, 
it called for a speedy discussion on the merits of our claims — 



158 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



" Mr. Nicholas Mahon here called Mr. O'Connell to order. The petithn 
bad been passed, and should not now be made the subject of discussion. 

" Mr. O'Connell — ' I am not out of order. I assert that that petition requires 
the meeting to pass my resolution.' 

"Mr. James 'Gorman — 'I call Mr. O'Connell to order; we are not now 
discussing the merits of the petition.' 

" Mr. O'Connell — ' I call on the meeting to call for a speedy discussion on 
our petition.' 

" [Here much confusion and noise ensued, which was allayed by the Chair- 
man stating that Mr. O'Connell said that he was speaking to the resolution and 
the amendment, and that he conceived he had a right to be heard.] 

Mr. O'Connell resumed— This petition speaks of our gratitude 
for the concessions already made to us, without encroaching on 
our religious tenets or institutions. Is there any one amongst us 
that is sorry they did not encroach upon our religious tenets or 
institutions i Where is the man who regrets it ? Oh ! I should 
like to see his face. Our religion is at this day nearly the same 
as that of Henry VIII. was. When we can be unanimous 
amongst ourselves, I cannot see why we should put our reason 
and judgment into the pockets of any two individuals, even though 
these individuals should be the Earl of Donoughmore and Mr. 
Plunket. I now offer to the gentlemen — shall I say on the other 
side ? — no, I will not ; I will say the gentlemen who press the 
amendment ; I offer to them to put my resolution previous to 
the amendment ; take the sense of the meeting first on that, and 
I will, myself, agree to the amendment, which can be afterwards 
put as a separate resolution (no, no). Who is now looking for 
a division ? I ask you first to decide on Mr. Mahon's resolution 
(i)Q y no). If it be a bad one, you can reject it, without getting 
vid of it by the side-wind of an amendment. You have heard 
the name of Lord Londonderry, or Castlereagh introduced ; he 
has been termed our dignified friend. 

* 'Ms. O'Connor — ' The words I used were " distinguished friend.'" 
Mr. O'Connell — I beg the gentleman's pardon ; when I have 
occasion to speak again of Lord Londonderry, it shall be, for the 
remainder of the day, as our " distinguished friend," though I 
do not admit that he is my friend. 

" A person in the crowd — ' Do you come here to abuse members of parlia- 
ment?' 

Mr. O'Connell — The Marquis of Londonderry is not my friend. 
Mr. Lawless, of Belfast, the conductor of the c Irishman,' has as- 
serted that I am on the point of accepting a bribe from govern- 
ment ; that I am about to receive a silk gown from them : the 
created universe would not induce me to accept a favour under 



DANIEL OCONNSLL; ESQ., M.P. 



the administration of Lord Londonderry. (Loud interruption 
and murmurs of disapprobation, together with cries of ki question 
question.") 

"Mr. Hugh O'Connor conceived that Mr. O'Connell was taking up the time 
of the meeting very unnecessarily (Several groans.) 

Mr. O'Connell — Mr. O'Connor spoke of Lord Londonderry ; 
it is strange if I must not. I have served three apprenticeships 
to my profession ; I have been for the space of twenty-one years 
a barrister ; it is seventeen years since I first took a part in Ca- 
tholic affairs ; my child was then young — he has since grown 
up to be a man, and I am naturally anxious for the attainment 
of our object. 

We are told that we should not press the discussion on our 
petition, at the present moment, in consequences of the distur- 
bances in the country * and a few weeks, it is said, will put an 
end to those disturbances • but what has occasioned them ] Is 
it not poverty and misery 1 And what is to make the wretehed 
peasantry rich in the course of three weeks ? We may expect to 
find them purchasing houses in Mountjoy and Merrion-squares ; 
but how are they to acquire the means 1 Oh ! I suppose by the 
lottery — they have as good a chance of becoming rich that way, 
as any other that I know of. 

The counties of Tipperary, Clare, and Limerick have been 
proclaimed ; and it is yet supposed that all the disturbances that 
have lately agitated the country shall cease in the course of three 
weeks. They may, however, continue for seven years ; and it 
nmy be urged as an argument against our claims next year, that 
a tithe-proctor was killed in one place, and a " notice" of Captain 
Rock's seen in another. If our " distinguished friend" did not 
mean an imputation, when he alluded to the disturbed state of 
Ireland, it would be said by our enemies that he did ; and they 
would no1 be backward in saying that we understood him, and 
that we did not press our claims, fearing that our turbulence 
would be discovered. Thus would an imputation be fastened 
cn the honour of the Catholic people. 

We cannot conceive anything more foolish or disgraceful, than 
the scenes of blood and outrage that have taken place in the 
south of Ireland ; it is a trial of mere brutal force against every- 
thing that is intellectual. Fellow-countrymen, you have in me 
one unpurchaseable friend — a man whom empires would not buy 
— a man who, during his own life, had at heart only your good, 
and who would sacrifice a thousand lives to do you service. It 



160 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



is then such a inan, fellow-countrymen, who entreats of you not 
to participate in any treasonable project against the state. (Pro- 
digious applause.) 

Let no man say we thought Lord Londonderry was borne out 
in the imputation, if it was one ; we challenge him to the proof, 
if any can be adduced ; we say the imputation is a foul, foul 
one, and we shake it off " as dew-drops from the lion's mane." 

I can't afford to pay the compliment of my rights to the con- 
venience of a minister ; let those who enjoy their all under 
ministerial influence, look down from their stations, and amuse 
themselves with spitting upon the slaves — the Irish people. 
They may still keep me in thraldom, but I am resolved thai 
their slumbers shall be disturbed by the clanking of my chains 
Our " distinguished friends" may turn their backs on us, but 
when we look to the state of Europe, should six millions of people 
be afraid of using the language of common sense 1 Look to Russia 
sending a force of 200,000 men against Constantinople, and thus 
breaking up the holy alliance. Look to Greece, struggling for 
freedom ; look to Spain ; look to Portugal. In those countries 
we see the inquisition and the tithe system abolished. Look to 
b r&nta 

" Mr O'Connor — ' Does Mr. O'Connell mean to occupy the time of this 
meeting with such ridiculous nonsense?' (Applause.) 

Mr. O'Connell — Whether it be ridiculous or sensible, I am 
determined I will not be prevented from going on. (Loud laugh- 
ing, which continued for some time.) Can they look for foreign 
support against our claims 1 What might have ensued in Ire- 
land if the Catholic clergy had remained neuter ] 

"Mr. Devereux called Mr. O'Connell to order. 

Mr. O'Connell — A weekly publication in this city has already 
dared to cast an imputation on the Catholic clergy. Another 
paper, which affects to be our friend, has charged them with 
want of exertion. We have arrived at a time when an imputa- 
tion, or what may be considered as such by others, has been 
thrown out in parliament against the Catholics of Ireland. Our 
going forward with our petition, fully and properly, meets that 
imputation. It has been said that we did not talk of honour in 
any of our former petitions ; but I hold in my hand the resolu- 
tions passed a-t a Catholic meeting, in the year 1813. two of 
which I shall read. The Catholics then declared that they would 
not accept of any concession inconsistent with their honour, 
[Here Mr. O'Connell read from a printed pamphlet.] 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



"Mr. Howlet repeated that the word honour had never been similarly used 

Mr. O'Connell — The present is a peculiarly favourable time 
for the discussion of our petition ; now that the guilty are about 
to be punished, it is right that the meritorious should be re- 
warded. Those who govern wisely reward as well as punish. 
We have lived nearly seven hundred years under English govern- 
ment, and if this is the result, the fault is not attributable to 
us ; we have not governed ourselves. 

" Captain Fottkell, amid much confusion, made 'some remarks on Mr. 
O'Connell s speech, but was forced to sit down by cries of 'question.' 

4k [Here Me. Hugh O'Connor, Mr. Howley, and others, declared they 
would withdraw the amendment, and permit Mr. O'ConneU's resolution to pass, 
upon the understanding that Mr. O'Connell would not oppose it as a separate 
resolution. Mr. O'Connell assented.] 

"Mb. Mahon's resolution (the original one) was then put and carried, 
amidst loud cries of ' no, no.' 

" Mr. O'Connor's amendment was then put as a separate resolution, and 
earned. 

,v It was then moved by James Edward Devereux. Esq., and seconded by 
O'Conor Don — 

" \ That a committee of eleven be appointed to prepare a petition or address to his 
Majesty, from the Roman Catholics of Ireland, praying that he -would be graciously pleased 
to recommend to parliament a Repeal of the Penal Laws still affecting that portion of his 
Majesty's subjects.' 

44 The following gentlemen were then named on the Committee: — 

**' Sir Thomas Esmonde, Chairman ; James O'Gorman, Esq., O'Conor Don, Daniel O'Con- 
nell, Esq., Hugh O'Connor, Esq., James Edward Devereux, Esq., John Howley, Esq., 
Nicholas Mahon, Esq., Edward Moore, Esq., Lord Killeen, Thomas Fitzgerald, Esq.' 

41 After some other routine business, the meeting adjourned, sine die. 

44 Mr. O'Connelt/s allusion to the charge against him by Mr. Lawless pro- 
diced a letter from that gentleman a few days after; a disclaimer of any inten- 
tion to make such a charge," 



NATIONAL TESTIMONIAL TO GEORGE THE FOURTH. 

subscribers' MEETING — APRIL 25. 

Mr. O'Connell rose and stated that he had listened with con- 
siderable attention to the observations and opinions of the several 
gentlemen who preceded him. Some were of opinion that a 
pyramid, some that an arch, some that a statue, and many that 
ft bridge was. the most eligible mode of testifying public gratitude 
vol. n. L 



162 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



on the auspicious occasion of the king's visit. As to a pyramid, 
he felt that, from the specimens which had been already givei 
in that department of architecture, an additional obelisk would 
not meet with very general public satisfaction. Nelson's pillar 
and the Wellington Testimonial were lamentable failures ; and 1 
it was deeply to be regretted that these erections had not been 
more worthy of the occasions which they were intended to com- 
memorate. He believed, therefore, that a pyramid would by no 
means please or satisfy the public. 

As to an arch at the end of Sackville-street, he regarded it as 
equally objectionable ; it would only spoil the appearance of a 
beautiful street, already too much lumbered with a pile that 
was by no means ornamental. After a short time it would be 
disregarded, and become, like a market-cross, a place for sticking 
bills on. As to a statue, he for one, did not approve of it. 
There were already many statues in the city, and more were 
about to be erected • besides, they could not get a suitable site 
in which to place it. It would not be admitted into the squares ; 
and he knew no other spot would be worthy of it. Under these 
circumstances, he was strongly disposed in favour of the sug- 
gestion of the bridge. It would combine utility with ornament 
— and be the more gratifying to his Majesty, as adopted in con- 
formity to the expressed wish of his Majesty. Lord Manners 
communicated it at a general meeting ; and he remembered to 
have heard the noble lord state that his Majesty did not mean 
by this suggestion to interfere with the free choice of the sub- 
scribers. The delicacy of the communication was an additional 
reason to recommend the preference of a bridge. Besides, it 
would afford an agreeable approach to the Park, and save fami- 
lies the necessity of passing through Barrack- street — an unplea- 
sant, and often extremely offensive way. This would make the 
Park a place of general recreation to the citizens, and thus assi- 
milate it to Hyde Park, in London. Jt would, besides, unite 
both parts of the city in some degree, and be emblematic of his 
Majesty's desire to unite all parties in this country. He could II 
not but express his regret, that his Majesty's anxiety had not 
experienced a corresponding anxiety in some quarters. After 
forcibly urging other reasons, why a preference should be given 
to a bridge, the learned gentleman concluded by moving that 
the erection of a bridge over the Liffey, opposite the entrance 
to his Majesty's Park, the Phoenix, be strongly recommended 
by the subscribers, amongst the plans referred to them, as 
an object worthy to commemorate his Majesty's visit to this 
country. 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



163 



NATIONAL BOARD OF EDUCATION 

At a meeting which took place in the Rotunda Buildings, upon Tuesday, the 7th May . 
In this year, the first idea of the present National Board of Education in Ireland seems to 
have heen shadowed out. It will he seen from Mr. O'Connell's remarks, which we give as 
we found them, in an evidently much abbreviated form, that, friendly as he was then 
(as ever) to the general spread of education, and anxious to put in motion all good means 
for that purpose, he did not contemplate any of the overweening liberality of the educa- 
tion mongers of our day, but ah education carefully watched over, as it ought to be, b\ 
the clergy 

Mr. O'Connell proposed the fourth resolution, He spoke 
at some length, and with great eloquence. He declared that 
the Catholic clergy were most anxious for the establishment of 
schools in all parts of Ireland ; but they wished to see them 
founded on one principle only — the principle of fair play — the 
principle of diffusing education as widely as possible, but leaving 
every one's conscience uninfluenced. They would teach chil- 
dren of all persuasions, but would not interfere with the reli- 
gious tenets of any. It was upon this principle the Kildare- 
street Society professed to set out. They had, however, aban- 
doned it ; and, therefore, the National Society became neces • 
sary. 

Mr. O'Connell proceeded to show that education, without a 
shade of religious distinction, was afforded to the poor by the 
National Society, to the extent of its means, and he referred to 
the letters of the Catholic clergy, lately published in the papers, 
to prove, 

First — That the clergy were anxious to promote the educa* 
tion of the poor. 

Secondly — That the Kildare-street Society does not educate 
the poor. 

Thirdly — That it is impossible it ever can educate the poor ; 
£or the Catholic clergy never will consent to the use of the 
Scriptures without note or comment, as the school-book ; and 
without this the Kildare-street Society will not give education. 

Mr. O'Connell concluded with expressing his conviction that, 
as the legislature certainly wished to educate the poor of Ire- 
land, they would not refuse to grant to the National Society, 
which, he contended, it was now evident could alone effect that 
object. 

******* 

** Moved by Mr. O'Connell, and seconded by Doctor Blake (5)—* That the following 
petition be presented to parliament, and that the secretaries be directed to write to Thomas 
S. Rice, Esq., requesting him to present our petition to parliament, and to write to the 
Irish members of parliament, requesting them to support the same.' " 



164 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



The petition referred to was as follows ; — 

" To the Eight Honourable and Honourable the Knights, 
Citizens, and Burgesses of the United Kingdom in Par- 
liament assembled. 
" The Petition of the undersigned Vice-Presidents and Com- 
mittee of the Irish National Society for promoting the 
Education of the Poor. 
" We, the Vice-Presidents and Committee of the Irish Na- 
tional Society for promoting the Education of the Poor, beg 
leave respectfully to represent to your Eight Honourable House, 
that although large sums have been annually voted by Parlia- 
ment for the general purposes of education, those sums have 
not been made available for the education of the Eoman Catho- 
lic poor, who are the most numerous of that class of society, 
and who stand most in need of legislative assistance. 

" Your Petitioners further respectfully state their conviction 
that no beneficial aid can be rendered to the poor by way of 
education in Ireland, if it be regulated in a manner adverse to 
the religious opinions, or calculated to excite the apprehensions 
or distrust of the parents or pastors of the children. 

" Your Petitioners further state, that the system of education 
which they have adopted is unanimously and alone sanctioned 
by the concurrence and co-operation of the Catholic prelates 
and pastors of Ireland. 

"Your Petitioners earnestly and respectfully implore such 
legislative assistance in aid of their object as may seem good to 
the wisdom of your Eight Honourable House. 

" And your Petitioners will ever pray." 

"IRISH NATIONAL SOCIETY. 

Lord Cloncurry. 
Lord Gormanstown. 
Most Rev. Dr. Troy. 
Most Rev. Dr. O'KeDy. 



Alderman M'Kenny. 
Sir Charles Morgan. 
Very Rev. Dr. Blake. 
Colonel Nelly. 
Rev. Dr. Lube. 
Rev. Dr. D'Arcy. 
John Phelps, jun., Esq. 
Lewis Perrin, Esq. 
Rev. Mr. Flanagan. 
Willi* m H. Curran, Esq. 
John O'Brien, Esq. 

Very different such a Board of Presidency would have been from that pressed by th« 
Infidel Colleges' Act of 1815 ! 



** VICE -PRESIDENTS. 

Right Rev. Dr. Doyle. 
Lord Killeen. 
The Earl of Fingal. 
Most Rev. Dr. Curtis. 

w COMMITTEE. 

Joseph Huband, Esq. 
James J. Cullanan, Esq. 
Robert Cassidy, Esq. 
Doctor Cullanan. 
Rev. Mr. Hewson. 
John Burne. 
Very Rev. Dr. HamiTl. 
Cornelius M'Laughlin, Esq. 
Nicholas Mahon, Esq. 
Archd. H. Rowan, Esq. 
Michael Sweetman, Esq. 



Most Rev. Dr. Murray. 
Right Rev. Dr. M&rone. 
Sir Thos. Esmonde, Bart. 



James Charles Baron, Esq, 
Daniel 0* Connell. Esq. 
Thomas Dillon, Esq. 
Francis Mac Donnelly Esq. 
Edward Mr«ore T Esq. 
T. Mac Donnell, Esq. 
Anthony O'Brien, Esq. 
John Power, Esq, 
P. Costello, Esq. 
P. J. Hart, Esq, 
Bernard Mullins, Esq. w 



DANIEL O'COXNELL, ESQ., M.P. 1G5 



DISTRESS OF THE POOR IN THE SOUTH AND 
WEST OF IRELAND. 

That amid all the minor business of his life, engrossing and multifarious as tfiey were, 
Mr. 0"-Connell still steadily kept his eye far a-head, to his glorious and all-transcending 
object— the regeneration of Ireland by the Repeal of the Union— will be again recognised 
from the expressions in the following short speech of his- at a meeting held at the Man- 
sion House, in Dawson- street, on Thursdaj', the 16th of. May, " on behalf," as the adver- 
tisement stated it, "of the distressed labouring poor of the South and West of Ireland." 
The distress alluded to was the great famine of the year 1822. 

Mr. O'Connell begged leave to offer a few observations, be- 
fore the resolution for the committee was put from the chair. 
He rejoiced at seeing the present meeting ; perhaps he might 
have wished to see it convened before ; but as it had been stated 
that there were reasons for not calling it at an earlier day, he 
was disposed to believe that those reasons (although he did not 
hear them) were satisfactory. It was, however, in no small de- 
gree mortifying to national vanity, that they should have heard 
of subscriptions for the relief of the distressed peasantry of Ire- 
land, in London, Liverpool, and other places, not only before a 
meeting was convened, but before they were told an official ac- 
count had reached Dublin of the extent of the distress. How- 
ever, as the meeting did now take place, their first and only 
object should be the relief of their suffering fellow-countrymen. 

As to the appointment of a committee, it would be desirable 
that it should be postponed until to-morrow. For his part, he 
had no reluctance to attend the meeting — his presence there 
evinced that he had not. There were, however, he knew, many 
J most respectable merchants, principally Catholic, who would 
\ gladly attend at the Exchange, but were not equally disposed 
to attend at the Mansion House. Indeed (said Mr. O'Connell), as 
to myself, I should feel proud on the occasion, as I received an 
j invitation to come here — an invitation which it is not usual for 
j me to receive. (Laughter.) The feelings of others, he thought, 
j 1 should in some degree be deferred to. The subscription would 
not be diminished, and would in all probability be increased, by 
ensuring the cordial co-operation of all. There should be no 
rivalry in the present case, except a generous rivalry and emu- 
lation to excel each other in cheerfully contributing to the re- 
lief of their suffering fellow-countrymen. (Cheers.) 

The duties which the committees had to discharge required 
that it- should be formed on a broad and extensive basis, They 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



had to regulate the subscriptions, to correspond with various 
other committees, and he hoped, also, to inquire into the cause 
of the present distress; for, without such inquiry, the peasantry 
might continue one half of the year in insurrection, and the 
other half in starvation. His friend, Mr. Leader, had eloquently 
enumerated many of the causes. It was now vain, however, he 
feared, to speak of absenteeism. The period for that was now 
gone by. When the government of this country, with its peers and 
commoners, was transported to another country, it was idle to speak 
of absentees, for the great proprietors ivere obliged by law to be ab- 
sent from their native land. (Hear, hear.) 

To alleviate the distress, extraordinary exertions were made in England, and a munificent 
subscription made up from various parts of that country. The warmest praise and highest 
credit, were, of course, no more than what was due, and were duly and abundantly given 
to our English neighbours, for their munificent charity on this occasion— a charity, that, 
during the late seven years of renewed and terrible distress, we have seen also renewed ir 
a considerable degree. Not detracting in the least from the merit of these contributions 
it is still fair to express a deep feeling of regret that the English people have not long age 
profited by the frequent experience of our economic weakness and ever-reeurring necessi- 
ties, to put in practice the larger and nobler, and in every point of view, the wiser charity 
by far, of restoring to us the means of promoting and maintaining our own prosperity, 
without having to undergo the humiliation of soliciting alms. 

The larger work from which we are compiling the present selected collection of Mr. OTon- 
nell's speeches, pursues this train of reflections throughout several pages of its second 
volume. The latter was published in 1846, when we were but as at the commencement 
of the fearful period of famine and distress from which we are only now beginning to emerge. 
Those reflections were apposite then, and their soundness will be acknowledged by any 
one who shall calmly and without prejudice, test them by the sad experience gained dur- 
ing the period in question. They are apposite and applicable at present not merely in an- 
ticipation of 2*ecurring evils of a similar kind, but actually to our present condition ; which 
no one can pretend to consider such as it ought to be, or as giving promise of any real 
and enduring prosperity. We therefore will copy from the work in question a portion of 
what is there said on the subject:— 

" The best and truest charity is that which tends to put its object in a position to depend 
thenceforward upon self-exertion. If that be true as regards the poor labourer that begs 
at your door for employment, it is, if possible, more eminently and stringently true in its 
application to the case of the people of Ireland. Considerations of restitution and atone- 
ment should mix up with those of charity in dealing with their case. England has forcibly 
deprived them of that which is the key-stone of the prosperity of a country — a home-par" 
liamcnt, acquainted with home affairs and interests, and able to devote its time exclusively 
to them. The key-stone gone, the rest of the arch has come tumbling down in hideous 
ruin. The rich proprietary had no inducement to remain in a provincialized country, when 
tempted by the metropolitan gaieties and splendours of the seat of imperial legislation- 
Their rents, as we have seen, went with them ; and the decrease in the circulation of 
money, and decrease of rich consumers, made our home market too weak to sustain our 
struggling manufactures against the competition of English capitalists. 

"What custom remained for manufactures being thus laid hold of by England, the moneys 
paid for them became, of course, an addition to the pecuniary drain. With the impoverish- 
ment of the comtry, her foreign trade naturally fell away; and for what foreign goods there 
yet remained any Irish consumption, we have had to look to England also ; and thus again 
the drain was increased, in this case in a twofoM manner- first, by the profits of the carrying 



DANIEL o'COXXELL, ESQ., M.P. 



1G7 



trade, and again by the amount of the duties on such goods; these duties being paid in 
England, and credited by the English revenues return, and repaid to the English merchant 
in the price paid by the Irish consumer 

" When all was distress around, the Irish landowner did not, of course, escape. His own 
improvidence is a favourite theme with English writers ; but provident or improvident 
the landowner, in a country running to bankruptcy, must suffer with the rest. . The loans 
on mortgage which have so deeply incumbered estates in our four provinces, were made In 
England, or through English sources; and the heavy annual interest has thus become an 
additional item of money drain. 

" As the blood to the human body, so is the money of a country to the body politic. 
Exhaustion of blood weakens and destroys the one ; exhaustion of money the other. True 
it is that Ireland is not entirely robbed of her money— that sums collectively of consider- 
able amount, are in the Irish funds and savings banks, and other such investments of 
limited profit, but these are the unhealthy deposits of a deranged and impeded circulation 
—of a circulation deranged by diminution of a needful sustenance, and by an abstraction 
of at least a large portion of the vital fluid itself. 

"The first and most obvious remedy is, to stop the drains. Do so by looking to their 
source. Restore the rich proprietors to their country, by giving her a parliament, which 
will require the personal attendance of many, and the vigilance of all ; at once from six 
to seven millions of the drains in question cease to go from us — a sum, be it recollected, 
very considerably exceeding the amount of the public revenue in Ireland. So much capi- 
tal restored will revivify and compensate enterprise, manufacturing and commercial ; the 
home market of Ireland will flourish, and the increasing wealth of the country will ha-v e 
its influence on every class and every interest throughout the community, restoring all 
to that prosperity which it. is so evidently in the designs of Almighty Providence that 
poor Ireland shall enjoy. 

" England would have eminently her advantage, too, were the Union repealed, and Irish 
prosperity thus restored— an advantage all-surpassing in the friendship, fast alliance, and 
undeviating support of the re -invigorated and regenerated Irish nation ; but an immediate, 
directly tangible, and most practical advantage in the increased ability of Ireland to share 
the burdens of the empire. Her revenue is small now ; not because of great inferiority of 
taxation — for her taxation is higher than as three to four in comparison with that of 
England — but because of the poverty of her consumers of taxed articles. With the increase 
m their means, their consumption of such articles would, of course, increase ; and thus, 
•within not many months of the stoppage of the drains of Ireland by Repeal, England would 
be rewarded by a large increase (icithoui any neic taxation) to the funds, out of which the 
general expenditure of these realms is defrayed,"' 



WALLACE r. STAUNTON. — Libel. 

The next speech Gf Mr. O'Conncll's that we have to put on record, was delivered in a 
iegal case. Michael Staunton, Esq., the present respected Collector-General of Metropo- 
I litan Rates, was at that time (1821), as for many years afterwards, proprietor and editor 
of the Dublin Morning Register, a journal which long, ably, and most perseveringly advo- 
cated, under his direction, the cause of Ireland. 

Mr. Staunton, then a very young man, at the outset of his honourable and useful career, 
was arraigned in the King's Bench, upon the 25th of May, in the year mentioned, for an 
alleged libel upon Thomas Wallace, Queen's Counsel (the late Master in Chancery), in an 
article which had appeared in the Register some time before. The following is the report 
uf Mr. O'Connell's speech:- 



168 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



Mr. O'Connell then arose on behalf of Mr. Staunton. Amongst 
the peculiarities of the present case there was one which aston- 
ished him — the prosecutor did not appear. 

For the first time, he believed, in the history of the jurispru- 
dence of this country, the prosecutor in a private prosecution 
did not come forward to state and prove the grounds of his com- 
plaint. In the present instance it was the more to be wondered 
at, as the prosecutor was within hearing, or at least within the hall. 
It would not be difficult to discern why his friends deemed it- 
prudent not to examine him. In advising him not to show him- 
self in the witness's box, they proved themselves as discreet as 
they are learned. They knew that he should admit the truth of 
the statements contained in these publications ; and this admis- 
sion it was not their object or interest to procure. 

This was a disadvantage to the defendant, which in the his- 
tory of the persecutions of the press, was unparalleled. He hoped, j 
however, although his non-appearance had all the merit of no- 
velty, it would not have the advantage of success. His absence 
from the witness's box, he (Mr. O'C.) would place in the front 
of his defence, and more earnestly call the attention of the jury 
to it, as a bad precedent was always imitated with the readiest 
alacrity, and speedily passed into a law. 

The prosecutor and his client were strongly contrasted on the 
present occasion. The prosecutor was a barrister, and a king's 
counsel of high and respectable station in his profession. He 
had raised himself to rank, to fortune, and to fame, with as little 
support from patronage as any man in any profession, and without 
any aid but what he drew from the resources of a vigorous mind 
and industrious habits. The artificer of his own fortune, he was 
a proud living example of the result produced by a combination 
| of superior talent and honourable exertion. This testimony he 
j j readily bore to the character of the prosecutor, and he was satis- 
|! fied he could do so without infringing in the slightest degree on 
the interests of his client. 

The defendant, on the contrary, was unknown to them. He 
was the son of a gentleman who gave what he only could give 
his son — a good education ; and whose only legacy to him was 
an unprovided mother and an unportioned sister : a legacy which 
he did not renounce, but which he accepted and cherished with j 
the most devoted attachment. The verdict of the jury was to 
determine whether he was to be now torn from those relations— 1 ' 
to be sent into a dungeon, for having expressed his opinions in 
the exercise of his duty as an editor of a newspaper upon a sub- 



DANIEL O'CONXELL, ESQ., M.T. 



ject of publio interest, at a time that the whole press of the coun- 
try was leagued with Mr. Wallace in hunting down an individual 
whose conduct was about to become the subject of legal inves- 
tigation. 

He defied the jury to discover one assignable motive of malice 
to the conduct of the defendant, either in endeavouring to pre- 
vent the due administration of justice, f j provoke breaches of 
the law, to vilify the character of Mr. W allace, or infringe on 
the privileges of the bar, which constituted the several charges 
in the counts of the indictment. 

As to motives of malice in the defendant, there was nothing, 
he believed, imputable to his client. On the contrary, his 
friendly disposition to Mr. Wallace, had been made manifest 
before. Wlhen that gentleman was candidate for Drogheda, Mr. 
Staunton, on that and other occasions, inserted paragraphs, 
complimentary of Mr. Wallace, in The Freeman's Journal, of 
which he was at that time the editor. He had, many years ago, 
risen by his talents to the sole editorship of The Freeman's J our- 
j rial, which he held, enjoying a salary of near £500 a-year, until 
he undertook the publication of The Weekly Register, with the 
view of advancing himself in the world. In The Freeman $ 
Journal, and in his own paper, he had always given Mr. Wal- 
lace the warmest support as a public man ; thus showing, that 
so far from having any feeling of malice or ill-will towards Mr. 
Wallace, he always entertained for him the most favourable sen- 
timents. 

And here (said Mr. O'C.) give me leave respectfully to say, 
that from being unaccustomed to trials of this nature in this 
country, you are, to a certain extent, I might almost say, unfit 
to try this case. If I was addressing a jury of Englishmen, 
where cases of this nature are better understood, they would 
j call on me to prove the truth of the statements contained in the 
j publication, and if proved to be true, they would acquit my 
; client. 

As to the charge of these publications impeding public jus 
| tice, they could only prevent it in either of two ways : either 
i in prejudicing the minds of the jury, and thereby preventing 
conviction, or by prejudicing the bench, in order to prevent 
j punishment. The case on which this prejudice was supposed 
to take place was the assault on Mr. Wallace ; and he asked the 
jury if, after the strong evidence which had been given of that 
assault, could they hesitate to convict Mr. M'Xamara, although 
j they had read a hundred such publications ] He was confident 



170 



SELECT SPEECHES OP 



they could not. Idle as it was to talk of prejudicing the minds 
of the jury, it was doubly so to suppose it could sway the bench, 
whom the habitual exercise of a dispassionate judgment had 
raised far above such influence. 

The privileges of the bar formed another topic of consideration. 
Unquestionably, they were proud and valuable privileges : but 
their value should make persons discreet and circumspect in the 
use of them. It could not be denied that they had on many 
occasions been exercised to an unwarrantable extent. They were i 
intended for the protection not only of the members of the bar, 
but also for the due attainment of justice ; they had been, how- 
ever, frequently perverted to the purpose of trampling down 
justice with the individual. The abuse of them now was less 
frequent, and the reason was, because the bench was every day 
improving. The bar did not require protection from the subject, 
but the subject required protection from the bar. 

Their verdict would, in a measure, decide what limit was - to 
be placed to a barrister^ in the statement and animadversions, 
by the manner in which they would deal with a person who had 
only remarked upon the introduction of a third person into a 
statement of a leading counsel — that person a respectable female, 
unconnected altogether with the case, and yet visited with the i 
severest epithets. It had been proved that at the trial of Caila \ 
V. M'Namara, a great deal of intemperance had been shown, 
and shown at the time of taking a bill of exceptions, when there 
might be supposed to be least occasion for it. 

As to the vilification of the character of Mr. Wallace, there 
was nothing in the publication which could even warrant such 
an imputation. On the contrary, one of the publications stated 
him to be " a man of talent and spirit." The statements in these 
publications were the assertion of facts which were not disproved, 
and some editorial observations mitigatory of the conduct of 
Mr. R. M'Namara. Here Mr. O'Connell read several paragraphs 
from The Freeman's Journal Patriot, Dublin Journal, <&rc. 
which animadverted in severe terms on the conduct of Mr. 
K. M'Namara ; and Mr. O'Comicjil asked if, whilst the whole 
press of Dublin was teeming with vituperation on the conduct 
of that unfortunate gentleman, it was not admissible to offer 
something in mitigation 1 He (Mr. O'C.) would be satisfied tc 
rest the case of his client on the constitutional principle, that 
every man should be accounted innocent until proved to be 
guilty. And whilst every other paper was wrongfully prejudi- 
cing the public on the side of guilt, even before accusation, his 



DANIEL o'CONNELIij EGQ., M.P. 



171 



client alone appeared on the side of mercy, and maintained the 
propriety of not condemning Mr. M'Namara before trial. 

Mr. O'Connell dwelt on this point with much force and elo- 
quence. He could wish to have seen this matter amicably ad- 
justed before it came into court. At one time he hoped that 
an adjustment would take place, but as it was on the eve of 
settlement there came a question of costs. He regretted that 
Mr. Wallace was advised to stoop to the consideration of them, 
which, if. unadvised, he was sure he would not do. His client 
could not pay costs. The payment of them would be his ruin. 
After adverting to a variety of other exculpatory topics, Mr. 
O'Connell conjured the jury to pause before they plunged a young 
gentleman in goal, for the blameless exercise of his duty as a 
proprietor of the public press — to hesitate before they tore 
this last remnant from the freedom of discussion — the right of 
remarking truly on the conduct of public men, and on public 
transactions. If the press was to be despoiled of this privilege, 
it ceased to be a moral benefit, and would become a mischievous 
machine, at the beck and influence of every person who was rich 
and powerful enough to control it. 

A burst of applause from a crowded court followed the delivery of this speech. , 

Mr. Staunton was, notwithstanding, convicted, and suffered an imprisonment in Kii- 
mainnam. ' .But' conviction and condemnation, merited or unmerited, was sure to ?e a 
Catholic"!* fate before a city of Dublin jury, chosen and packed as they were. aaJ *t£l 
often are, by the foulest means and practices of the Orange sheriffs. 

We hasten on to a letter of Mr. O'Connell' s, on the subject of the annual Orange demon- 
strations in Dublin :— 

TO HIS EXCELLENCY MARQUIS WELLESLEY, 

&C, (fee, &c, 

" Merrion- square, July 11th, 1S22. 
" My Lord — To -morrow will finally decide the character of 
your administration. The oppressed and neglected Catholics of 
Ireland had fondly hoped, that they might have obtained from 
a. friend, placed in the exalted situation which your excellency 
occupies, a recommendation in favour of their claims. Yon took 
an early opportunity to crush that hope for ever. In your reply 
to the address of the Catholics of the county Clare, you told the 
Irish people that you came here to ' administer the laws, not to 
alter tliem? 

" My lord, but a few weeks elapsed, when you deemed it ex- 
pedient to recommend the insurrection act, and the act to sus- 
pend the lutbeas corpus. That the latter was not wanting, is 



SELECT SPEECH US OF 



now admitted by everybody ; and that any necessity is a justi 
fication of the former, remains, in my humble judgment, to be 
proved. 

" It still remains for your excellency to administer the laws. 
Hitherto the Catholics have felt no advantages from your excel- 
lency's administration. The system by which we are governed 
— the cold system of exclusion and distrust — is precisely the 
same as that of the most rigid of your predecessors. One prin- 
?ipal actor, to be sure, has been withdrawn from the scene, and 
we may deem the alteration a compliment ; but I am yet to 
learn what benefit we are to derive from it ; and I appeal to 
your lordship, whether the change to which I allude has not been 
amply compensated for to the exclusionists, by the removal of 
the mildest, kindest, and best public man Ireland has ever yet 
seen — Mr. Grant. 

" Your excellency came to administer the laws. My lord, I 
most respectfully, but, at the same time, most firmly call upon 
you to administer them. The exhibition intended (it is said) for 
to-morrow, is plainly a violation of the law. It is an open and 
public excitement to a breach of the peace ; it is a direct pro- 
vocation to tumult ;. it obstructs the public streets, by collecting 
on the one side an insulting, and on the other, an irritated con- 
course of persons. It is, my lord, for these, and other obvious 
reasons, a manifest violation of the law. 

< k I pledge myself to prove, before any court, or to any impar- 
tial jury, that the usual annual exhibition on the 12th of July is 
illegal. 

" I make this pledge under no small risk. I have certainly 
as large, probably a larger professional income than any man in 
a stuff gown ever had at the Irish bar — an income depending 
mainly upon the public notion that I understand something of 
my profession. I could not afford to forfeit that public confi- 
dence ; and yet I freely consent to forfeit it all, unless 1 am able 
to demonstrate to any judicial tribunal, that the annual exhibit 
tions of the Ylth of July are illegal. 

"Having given this pledge, I again respectfully call upon 
your excellency to vindicate the exalted character you have 
heretofore acquired, to do justice to the high name you bear, 
and to fulfil the duties of the exalted station which you occupy. 

" As you cannot alter, I again respectfully, dutifully, but 
firmly call upon you to administer the law, and to suppress an 
illegal and insulting nuisance. 

" My lord, you do not, caanot; want, the means of suppressing j 



DANIEL o'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



this nuisnnce. Oue word from you will be abundantly sufficient 
to do it. The expensive police of Dublin is at your disposal. 
With one word you can remove every one of them, from the 
chief magistrate in the chief office to the lowest retainer in the 
patrole department. 

" The corporation has, to be sure, the power to nominate to 
many of those situations, but that influence, which, alas ! is 
deemed necessary over higher assemblies, is preserved in perfect 
purity over the corporation by your Excellency's undoubted 
right to dismiss the nominees of the corporation, at your plea- 
sure, from those lucrative situations in the police. 

" You do not, my lord, want the power to administer the law. 
To say nothing of the military force at your disposal, you can 
command, and it is within the limits (and would it were within 
the practice) of our constitution to command them, all the li- 
beral Protestants, constituting a most numerous and respectable 
body ; and the entire Catholic population of Dublin, as special 
constables, to keep the peace, and prevent a violation of the law. 

u You have, my lord, ample power, and God forbid it should 
ever be said, that you wanted the inclination to administer the 
laws impartially towards all classes of his Majesty's subjects. 

" I say nothing of his most gracious Majesty's parting admo- 
nition • 1 say nothing of the disinterested and affectionate loy- 
alty which the Catholics showed to their sovereign, on his visit 
to Ireland : and I scorn to boast of the active part so humble 
an individual as myself took upon that important occasion. 
My lord, the Catholics forgot injuries, and what is infinitely 
more difficult, forgave insults, to effect a reconciliation with 
their Protestant fellow-subjects; and in no one instance have the 
Catholics, since the King's visit, violated in deed, or even in word, 
the spirit of that amicable concord which they then sought, and 
believed they had attained. I now defy the most active of our 
calumniators to point out any one single act, or even any one 
single word, by which the Catholics have violated that concord. 

But, alas ! how speedily, how completely, how entirely has 
it been violated upon the other side. On the other side, those 
men who were loudest in proclaiming sentiments of amity, what 
has' been their conduct since? But I will not dwell upon this 
painful subject ; I will only say, that the Catholics deserve and 
require protection from insult and injury. Will you, my lord, 
refuse them that protection 1 

" To-morrow decides the character of your excellency's admi- 
nistration in Ireland. That your conduct then and always may 



174: 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



at length justify the wishes of your admirers, and the fallen ex- 
pectation of this fallen country, is the anxious desire of* 

" My Lord, your Excellency's most obedient, 
" Most respectful, humble Servant, 

" Daniel O'Connell.* 

The degree of attention which the Marquis of Wellesley paid to this earnest remon- 
strance of Mr. O'Connell, on the part of the insulted Catholic people of Ireland, can he 
gathered from the following account of the proceedings in Dublin on July the 12th, 1822, 
taken from the Freeman's Journal of the succeeding day. 



"ORANGE DISPLAY. 

' tJ The statue (King William) in College- green was dressed yesterday, the 12th 
July, in the usual manner. The ceremony was performed by a few mean- 
looking persons, about four o'clock in the morning, in the presence of several 
policemen, who made no attempt to prevent it. 

" Two soldiers were observed in College-green about the same time. The 
persons most active on the occasion were a Mr. Brownlow, who got on the 
pedestal, a Mr. Forbes, a merchant's clerk, and a Mr. Hudson. A country 
attorney, name unknown, was also present. When they had completed their 
foolish and mischievous work, they proceeded in a body to the public-house 
(Daly's) in Werburgh-street, where they held their grand lodge. On their way 
they amused themselves by shouting and huzzaing, and alarming the peaceable 
citizens by striking the doors and window- shutters as they passed along the 
streets. There were a few spectators in the street when the trappings were put up. 

" During the whole of the day the assemblage of persons continued to increase 
hour after hour. At nine o'clock in the evening the crowd became v'^ry thick 
and dense ; many of the indignant spectators could no longer endure the insult. 
Some persons from the crowd accordingly mounted the pedestal, with an inten- 
tion of undressing the. statue. The horse patrole and police prevented them, dis- 
persed, and, as we have been assured by an eye-witness, subsequently chared 
the people. We could learn that they even used their swords and sticks with- 
out ceremony or caution. Shortly afterwards the favoured band approached 
their idol, and, without the slightest interruption, were permitted not only to 
undress the statue, but to annoy the respectable neighbourhood with the most 
boisterous yells and imprecations, No carriage or vehicle of any description 
was permitted to pass without the drivers taking off their hats to the god of 
Orange idolatry. A melancholy occurrence took place in consequence of the 
clamour thus kept up. It unfortunately happened that a car of Mr. Casey's was 
passing, and before the carman could comply with the requisition of making his 
obeisance to King William, the horse ran off, frightened by the clamour which 
assailed it. The car came in contact with another car belonging to Mr. Darcy 
Burne, and, shocking to relate, the shaft of Mr. Casey's car pierced the breast of 
Mr. Burne's horse, a fine animal, which immediately fell prostrate in the street! 
It has been taken to Mr. Watt's, but we regret to hear its death is expected. 
The carman of Mr. Casey was, we understand, flung from his seat ; his head 
fractured, and otherwise severely bruised. Providentially, neither the family of 
Mr. Casey nor Mr. Burne was in either car, But both families nrght have been 
in them ; the mother of ten children, the father on whom ten children depended 
for bread, might have teen in either of these cars, and in them, would probably 



DJlN'IEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



175 



nave met a sudden and fearful death ; and yet, there are persons who assert that 
the dressing of the statue of King William is a harmless exhibition. 

"At the- moment we are writing these lines (two o'clock, a.m.), small, but 
noisy groups of Orangemen are standing in the streets, and disturbing the peace 
by their shouts and exclamations. 

44 We narrate these occurrences with unaffected sorrow The reflections they 
naturally suggest we mast postpone until our next."' 



MR. O'CONNELL ON CIRCUIT. 

During the summer of this year, Mr. O'Connell, at one of the assize towns of his circuit 
(the .Munster circuit), being as usual in great request among the solicitors of the multi- 
tude of- unfortunate creatures, whom the misery of the country, and the oppressions of 
Lad laws, and worse administrators of them, had driven into the commission of offences of 
various degrees and descriptions, was offered a retainer from the solicitor of a man accused 
of having plundered some plantations belonging to a rich proprietor of the neighbourhood. 
The evidence against his client was expected to be of the clearest kind — being that of no 
less than three servants of the injured party — the gamekeeper, the butler, and a labourer, | 
who had all three assisted in capturing the ofliuder in the very act of committing the | j 
depredatio* 

In the face of such evidence it appeared to Mr. O'Connell impossible to do anytime 
towards saving the man from punishment, however severe the latter might be, and dis- J 
proportioned to the degree of criminality to be attached to such an act of a poverty- j 
atricken wretch. Severity of the most reientless nature was the sad characteristic of the ■ 
Administration of justice in those times, and Mr. O'Connell was not likely to have refused 
his exertions towards giving the offender some chance of escape, did a chance r:ppear to 
him at all possible. But as m e have said, he was so thoroughly convinced of the utter 
futility of rendering the man any service, that his first motion war. to refuse undertaking 
the defence, and he accordingly sent back the retaining fee, advising that it -should be 
applied in some more useful way than in engaging counsel, who could not give value 
for it. 

He was sitting in court the morning after his refusal, attending to his other businecj, 
when he was suddenly accosted in a very sharp tone by the solicitor for the accused, who 
demanded to know whether it was the fact that he declined the cause. Being answered 
that it was, and the simple reason being stated, that matters looked so entirely hopeless, 
ta to render the feeing of counsel nothing better than a mere waste of the prisoner's 
money ; the solicitor, in still greater anger than before, declared that Mr. O'Connell h;:d 

-o right to refuse in the case, and that he would insist upon his accepting the fee and 

undertaking it 

Oh," said Mr. O'Connell, "there is not the slightest necessity for yon. 
'ratting yourself into a passion about the matter. If you will insist on my 
acJLving these fees, notwithstanding that I tell you I cannot give you value for 
nem, have it your own way. I am quite satisfied since you are, and I will 
•jike the matter up." 

He did so accordingly, and the case being presently gone into, counsel for the prosecution j 
contented himself with a short statement of facts, and mentioned his having in court three ] 
urltnesses, whom he would immediately produce, who had all been at the capture of tiw I 
man in the very act of robbing the plantations. 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



" Get two of them out of court, Mr. O'Connell, while one is under examina- 
tion," whispered the solicitor. 

" No, no," was Mr. O'Connell's reply — " they shall all remain in — it is out 
only chance, as you will see." 

The first of the three witnesses that appeared on the table was the butler. He was evi- 
dently full of his story, and very particularly anxious to attribute the chief part of the 
credit to himself. Mr. O'Connell marked his victim at once, encouraged him on cross- 
e7>.aminatioa, to tell his tale with all the pomposity and circumstantiality he was inclined 
to ; and then, by a few pointed questions, involved him in such a mass of inconsistencies 
and contradictions, as utterly to invalidate his testimony. 

When, at length, he allowed him to escape in confusion from the table, the second wit- 
ness — the labourer — was called up, and here the wisdom of not insisting on having the 
witnesses out of court, became at once apparent. The second witness had, of course, 
heard the evidence of the first, and although not quite pleased at the lion's share of the 
merits in the capture, which the worthy butler had sought to arrogate to himself, had 
yet too much interest in the success of the prosecution not to endeavour to support him 
Accordingly, instead of confining himself to the plain simple narration of the event as it 
actually occurred, he turned ail his attention to seeking to explain away, or reconcile the 
inconsistencies of his predecessor, and, of course, only succeeded in making the matter 
worse, when he became to be cross-examined. He left the table in a state of greater 
botheration than even the butler. 

The third witness— the gamekeeper— not at all frightened by the discomfiture of the 
others, now appeared, and his plight was speedily even worse than theirs. He, too, having 
heard all the preceding evidence, <fcc, laboured to do away with its inconsistencies, a task 
the more difficult as they had so multiplied under the second cross examination. Mr. 
O'Connell upset him most completely, and, at length, by skilful badgering and tormenting, 
brought him to such a state, that the following colloquy passed between them :— 

" Now, will you answer me one question more, and then, perhaps, I'll have 
done with you? 1 ' 

" Oh, if it's only one question more and you'll let me go then, I'll answer it 

my way you like /" 

" Very Avell now, remember you said so. Now, by virtue of your oath, isn't 

he prisoner innocent ?" 

By virtue of my oath he isV 

f t is needless to say the man was acquitted, and Mr. O'Connell left the court in high 
^uscment at having so unexpectedly earned the fee, which he had at first so scrupled to 

•<cept. 

His skill in conducting a defence was tested in a more meritorious and a graver case 
*iuch about the same time, on the same circuit. He was engaged on behalf of a man 
accused on the testimony only of a young boy, of having been a principal in a savage agra- 
rian murder which had occurred a few weeks previously. The evidence of the boy was 
dearly and distinctly given, and for some time Mr. O'Connell was unable to elucidate any- 
ihing that appeared to hold out a hope for his client, At last the too great readiness of 
the boy gave an advantage. He had stated that he identified the prisoner by a mark upon 
one of his cheeks. That there was such a mark needed only a look at the man to establish. 
But Mr. O'Connell, without allowing his object to be seen, drew the boy out on the sub- 
ject, until he specified the right cheek as that on which the mark was, and got him two or 
three times over to repeat the specification, after, in each interval, distracting his atten- 
tion by asking questions on some indifferent matters. The mark proved to be on the lef 
cheek, and this discrepancy, pressed in the speech to evideuce of the counsel for the pri- 
soner, saved the prisoner's life. 

Juatice was not defeated thereby, the accused being really innocent, which was fully 



DANIEL O'COXNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



177 



established a short time afterwards, when the real murderer was arrested, and his identi- 
fication completed by a similar mark being found on his right cheek. It was then seen 
that the boy had been misled by a general similarity of appearance, coupled with the 
strange circumstance of both men bearing such marks, though on different cheeks. The 
mistake as to "righC and "left" was accounted for by the position in which witness and 
prisoner relatively stood— the left cheek of the latter being, of course, opposite to the right 
of the former, and the marks thus appearing to correspond. 

The niceties on which men's lives turn, in criminal trials, were never clearer illustrated 
than on the occasion in question. Had Mr. O'Connellnot caught at this point, but trusted 
to the defence set up, viz., an alibi, to be proved by a Protestant clergyman, who had 
actually had the man employed at a distance from the scene of the murder, all the day on 
which the latter was committed, an innocent man would have assuredly been made a vic- 
tim The witness mentioned, entirely broke dottn, through his anxiety to conceal the 
nature of the business at which he had kept the man engaged on that day— the not very 
creditable occupation of making "jpotteen," Le,, illicit whiskey. 

The first political speech that Mr. O'Connell made in the winter of 1822, was at a Catho- 
lic charity dinner for the Orphan School at Clondalkin, on "Wednesday, the 13th of Novem- 
ber, Lord Cloncurry in the chair. Like landmarks throughout his career, are such ever- 
recurring allusions as are contained in this short speech, to the one great object of hii 

mil 

Mr. O'Connell, in returning thanks for his health, commenced 
by saying, that he was accustomed to public speaking, and could 
not, at least, plead want of practice as an excuse for want of per- 
fection. (Laughter.) He felt most proud of the opinion which his 
noble friend had pronounced upon him. He did not aspire to 
greater honour, or to a higher ambition, than that he was honestly 
disposed to serve Ireland. When it might please the All-wise 
Disposer of events to call him from this life, he would be happy 
if it were inscribed on his grave that he was " an honest Irish- 
man" and that his noble friend was the person who wrote that 
epitaph for him. (Applause.) 

He delighted in every opportunity of meeting an assembly 
of his countrymen, and he delighted the more on the present 
occasion, as some time had elapsed since he could have enjoyed 
that gratification. He lamented the apathy which prevailed en 
public topics here, but was glad to notice an effort made for a 
great public good, and in a quarter in which, he would own, he 
did not expect it. To Alderman Nugent, as an Irishman, he 
felt unaffectedly grateful for his meritorious exertions in endea- 
vouring to effect a Repeal of the Union. 

'Twas true he differed, most widely differed from that gentle- 
man in politics, but he ivould forgive any man his injuries to- 
wards himself, or his general political line of conduct, provided 
he redeemed them by a sincere and substantial service towards his 
country. 

In England and Scotland great efforts were making for the 
VOL. tt. m 



178 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



amelioration of the "country. In Scotland, her delegates from 
her several counties "were convened to consult for her interests 
and future prospects. In England, the great county of York, 
and several other counties, with their nobles and landed proprie- 
tors, had come forward and proclaimed their sentiments ; but 
Ireland was sunk in slumber and despair. He deplored most 
sincerely the fate of the unfortunate victims whose folly and whose 
crimes had driven them for ever from their native land. As far 
as his influence could extend, he wrote and exhorted his country- 
men to desist from secret confederacies and private associations. 
The bond of such conspiracies was guilt ; the men who entered 
them consigned themselves to any man whom interest might 
instigate into treachery against them. 

A twelvemonth ago he was aware that the " Michael Coffey s" 
were abroad, and he then, as now, strenuously and publicly be- 
sought the humbler classes to abandon all illegal meetings. 
His admonition was disregarded, but he would again and again 
renew it. These associations he regarded as the reaction of 
Orangeism, and he was persuaded there would not be peace or 
prosperity for the country, until the Catholic and Protestant 
united in putting down disaffection in whatever guise, or under 
whatever banner it reared its unseemly front. 

Mr. O'Connell enlarged upon a variety of other topics, into 
which our limits do not permit us to follow him, and concluded 
a most eloquent and animated address, by pronouncing a hand- 
some eulogy on his Grace the Duke of Leinster, and proposing 
the health of His Grace. 

The legal peaceable principles of his agitation, too, are here again enunciated and pro- 
claimed, as on hundreds of occasions before and since. 

The allusion to Alderman Nugent, in the short speech we have just given, was drawl 
iutby a reference to a then recent meeting of the Guild of Merchants, when a committee 
t their body were appointed, with the late member for the county Meath, Henry 
irattan, Esq., and his brother James Grattan, Esq., at their head, to prepare a petition for 
ihe "Repeal op the Union." 

The following are a few brief extracts from the petition drawn up by this committee, 
and adopted by the Protestant Guild of Merchants, or as they described themselves \\ 
their due legal title:— 

" The Masters, Warden, and Brethren of the Corporation of Merchants, or 
Guild of the Holy Trinity, Dublin." 

After dilating generally on the miseries caused to Ireland by the Union, the petition 
complained of— 

"The constant recurrence (since the Union) to coercive measures, to violent 
acts of parliament, and to the suspensions of the constitution now grown familiar 
to the Statute Book. ...... The rejection of all motions for inquiry 

into the evils under which the country suffered — the want of development of the 



DANIEL O'COXNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



general resources of Ireland, &c., &c We could also show (it 

went on to say) how we have endured fever in one year, and famine in another 
and often both in one, and all patiently ; how we were laden with taxes until 
their excessive accumulation proved our only relief, and our best friend ; how 
the great progress winch Ireland once was making was stopped by the Union, 
and all her improvements as a nation checked." 

It protested against a repeal of the habeas corpus, against insurrection bills, £c, &c, 
and against a "constable bill" of that year, containing the monstrous principle of go- 
verning this country by a stipendiary magistracy, and an armed police— alarming and un- 
constitutional substitutes for a resident gentry. 

It concluded by an exhortation to the House of Commons, to take into consideration the 
propriety of repealing the act of Union — " a measure which, carried by such illegal, such 
unconstitutional means — by the sale, notorious as it was, of all our sa-jred, our judicial, 
our political institutionc— never could prosper, but must end in calamity, and recoil upon 
the authors of so much evil and the exhortation was enforced by reminding the house, 
that " the pressure of business upon you is too great, the inconvenience to Irish members 
to attend is too great, the wants of seven millions of people were too great." 

There were in this petition grievous faults of style and arrangement, and a want of sus- 
tained force of expression ; but the substance, coming from an Orange Guild of the city of 
Dublin, was sound and good, and proved how national feeling will sometimes break through 
the strongest barriers of miserable party prejudice and interest, 

A question of a good deal of interest relative to bar practice was involved in the matter, 
which drew the following letter, published in the Freeman's Journal of Saturday, the 1st of 
December, 1822 :- 

"TO THE PROPRIETOR OF THE FREEMAN'S JOURNAL. 

" Merrion-square, 6th December, 1822. 
u Sir — There is a statement in your paper of this day, of an 
occurrence in the Court of King's Bench yesterday, during the 
trial of the cause of Crowe v. Fleming, which is singularly inac- 
curate. I request you will publish the following accurate detail 
of the facts : — 

u I was counsel for Mr. Crowe at the trial of the first cause, 
instituted by him in the Court of Exchequer, and tried at Ennis 
in the Summer Assizes, 1819. He was unsuccessful, and the 
cause was at an end. 

" He afterwards filed a Bill against Mr. Fleming in the Court 
of Chancery. In that cause I was not counsel for either party ; 
Mr. Crowe had a right to leave me out, and he very properly 
exercised that right. 

" He next instituted this suit in the Court of King's Bench, 
and issue had been for some time joined in it before either party 
applied to me. Mr. Hickman, the defendant's attorney, was the 
first to do so. He offered me a retainer. I at first declined to 
receive it, saying, that as I had been counsel for the plaintiff in 
the former cause, I was unwilling to be counsel against him in 
this. Mr. Hickman asked whether I was retained in this cause 1 



180 



SELECT SPEECHES OP 



I said not. He insisted upon it, as the defendant's right, that 
I should accept of his retainer, and that I could not consistently 
with professional propriety refuse. I told him I would consider 
ofut for a day or two, and that if ultimately I was of opinion 
that I was bound to take the defendant's retainer, I would take 
it as if given on that day. 

" In the interval the plaintiffs attorney left some papers in 
the cause at my house. I told him what had taken place between 
Mr. Hickman and me. He immediately laid claim to the plain- 
tiff's prior right to my services. I told him I could not admit 
that right. He asked whether I would refer the point to any 
other counsel. I said I would readily, to any one whom he 
should name. He named Mr. Edward Pennefather, and I said it 
was not possible to make a better choice. 

" Accordingly, in a few days, the plaintiff's attorney called on 
me, and we went together to Mr. Pennefather's house. The facts 
were stated to Mr. Pennefather by the plaintiff's attorney, and 
upon that statement he decided that I was bound to accept the 
defendant's retainer. 

" In that decision, of course, I acquiesced. I could not be 
wrong in submitting to it, but I must say, that I am convinced 
it was a perfectly right decision. The plaintiff himself does not 
think that he is bound to employ the counsel he had at the trial at 
Ennis, and in point of fact, there are two of those counsel whom 
he has not employed now, and who are not engaged at either 
side. The condition of the clients would be grievous, if they 
were under any obligation to employ in every cause, all the 
counsel they employ in any one suit respecting the same property. 

" Your report of this morning makes me say, that I was 
leading counsel at the former trial. I was not leading counsel. 
Another gentleman was, and the plaintiff has not employed him 
in the present cause. You also make me say, that it was I who 
named the arbitrator. You perceive now it was not I ; it was 
the plaintiff's attorney who named him. I pass over other in- 
accuracies. 

" Your report will probably be copied into other newspapers. 
Those who copy it, if they affect fair play, will also copy this 
latter. I confess I scarcely expect so much candour. 
" I am, Sir, 

" Your obedient Servant, 

" Daniel O'Connell." 



DANIEL O CONMELL, ESQ., M.P. 



MEETING IN THE ROYAL EXCHANGE. 
20th December, 1822. 

OUTRAGE AT THE THEATRE. 

In December, J 822, occured an event that has a place in the Annals of Dublin as the 
" bottle throwing" conspiracy. , On Saturday, the 14th of that month, the Lord Lieutenant, 
Lord Wellesley, attended the theatre in state, and was warmly received by the audieuce 
with the exception of a party of Orangemen, chiefly of the lower class, whose ire he had 
provoked by no great practical* exhibition of impartiality in his government; but rather 
by a less than usual active favouritism towards the old ascendancy party. From groans 
and hisses the malcontents proceeded to open violence— and a quart bottle, am! shortly 
afterwards a large piece of wood, part of a watchman's rattle, were flung, happily without 
effect, at the viceregal party. 

Among other puolic demonstrations on this occurrence, was a meeting at the Royal 
Exchange, of persons of all parties held on Friday, the 2Cth December j the Lord Mayor 
(Fleming) in the chair. 

After several speeches, Mr. 6'Connell, having been repeatedly called upon, came forward, 
and, after the cheers with which he was received had subsided, spoke nearly to the fol 
lowing effect :- 

My Lord Mayor and Gentlemen — It would be very great 
affectation in me not to come forward at the call of my fellow- 
citizens, to express my thankfulness for the kindness with which 
I have been greeted, and to offer my humble sentiments on the 
present occasion. 

And permit me, in the first instance, my lord, to express the 
delight which I feel in addressing your lordship as the chief ma- 
gistrate of this city. Your career of office since the commence- 
ment, has been one of which every well-disposed man in the 
community must approve. It has been marked by an impartial 
administration of the law — by a meritorious obedience to the 
directions of the supreme magistrate of the country — and by 
creditable exertions to regulate the conduct, and stimulate to 
the execution of their duty, the officers and magistrates of sub- 
ordinate station. 

As to the event which has occurred, and which we have assem- 
bled to deprecate, I am satisfied that only one feeling of indig- 
nation, of sorrow, and of shame, can prevade the mind of every 
man in the country. It was an outrage without parallel in any 
former instance of wanton, unprovoked insult. If the accused 
be innocent, their acquittal will clear their characters from the 
foulness of the imputed guilt ; if guilty, impartial justice will 
avenge the laws which they have outraged. To that law I am 
anxious they should be submitted ; and sure I am, that whether 
innocent or guilty, I may be pardoned the vanity I take in my 



182 



SELECT SPEECHES OP 



profession, in the assurance I give, that they will be dealt with 
fairly, uprightly, and impartially. With that distinguished 
ornament of the bar and of Ireland, Charles Bushe, presiding in 
the Court of King's Bench, aided by Mr. Justice Jebb, by that 
admirable Englishman, Mr. Justice Burton, and by that excel- 
lent gentleman, Mr. Justice Vandeleur — there is not a country 
in Europe where justice is more purely administered, than in 
the King's Bench in Ireland. (Applause.) 

Whatever, therefore, may be the punishment, it would be the 
award of justice. On this topic, or on any other, my lord, I am 
not disposed to use irritating language, and, if I were so disposed, 
the presiding presence of your lordship would restrain me from 
the use of it. I am not even disposed to animadvert with 
harshness upon the events which have, either remotely or im- 
mediately, preceded this last unparalleled atrocity. These events 
it would be better, perhaps, to forget ; and, taking this atrocity 
for an example of the baneful and dangerous excesses of illegal 
associations of every description, we should all unite and join in 
the universal inculcation of the salutary lesson, that loyalty, to 
be genuine, should be rational ; and that loyalty is not the pe- 
culiar prerogative of one sect or another, but is the legitimate 
and appropriate characteristic of all his majesty's subjects, of 
every class, every rank, every denomination. (Applause.) 

Much polemics had been abroad in the world at the present 
day, and learned disputations had lately occupied the attention 
and no doubt edified the piety of the public ; but that religion 
is alone worthy the character of Christianity, which does not 
exasperate or divide, but which unites every man, and all men, 
in the bonds of brotherly love, reciprocal kindness and mutual 
benevolence. 

If Ireland, with the richest soil, maintained the poorest peo- 
ple, if her prosperity had been marred, if her riches had been 
drained and squandered in foreign dissipation, it was because 
her children, instead of combining in effectual co-operation to 
consider how best that soil might be cultivated, how best that 
prosperity might be advanced, and how best her wealth may be 
distributed for the nation's weal, abused their time, and aban- 
doned their duties in attacking each other, and running a dis- 
honourable rivalry in their endeavours to tear their country into 
pitiful and tattered fragments. (Much and continued cheering.) 

It was true, that great misery, as Mr. Leader had eloquently 
depicted, existed in the south of Ireland. And it was true also, 
that crime had been abundant there. The Irish peasantry, in 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



183 



the insanity of their poverty and wretchedness, had taken up 
arms. In the dark hour of midnight, they prowled to the per- 
petration of horrible excesses. Of those I am not, God forbid 
I should be, in the most distant degree the apologist ; however, 
it should be remembered, that their wants and their wretched- 
ness were extreme ; it should not be forgotten, not as a j ustifi- 
cation, but as some trivial mitigation, that the weight of misery 
pressed upon them so heavily as to provoke them, in some de- 
gree, to burst these bonds of order which, under any circum- 
stances, it was their bounden duty to observe and revere. 

But was it ever known of an Irish peasant, that in the midst 
of gaiety, of luxury, and of merriment, he became a murderer ? 
Was it ever known of him, that in the moment of joy and gra- 
tulation, surrounded, too, by our beautiful countrywomen, whose 
presence it was the chivalrous pride of an Irishman to respect; 
was it ever heard that he degraded his name, his nature, and 
his humanity, into the character of an ignominious traitor, and 
a base assassin \ (Cries of : no, no/ and continued cheering.) 
And who was the object of this outrage ? The man who was 
the delegate not only of the king's power in this country, but 
the delegate also of his benevolence, and the representative of 
his affection for Ireland. (Cheers.) 

I am myself a reformer, I always avow my opinions on the 
subject of reform. I differ, respectfully differ, from the Marquis 
of Wellesley, from the sentiments which at the early part of his 
active and glorious public life he expressed upon that subject ; 
yet, his distinguished services on that occasion could not pre- 
serve him from the outrage of those who affect all the loyalty 
of the land, and make that loyalty to consist, perhaps very pro- 
perly, in an opposition to reform. I pass over his glorious ad- 
ministration in India, where he introduced the blessings of Bri- 
tish law, and where the wisdom of his government displayed it- 
self in the increased civilization of the people, and the augmented 
glory, strength, and power of the British empire. But that one 
of his eminent services on which I dwell with the greatest plea- 
sure and satisfaction, is, his conduct as representative of his so- 
vereign in Spain. He was the person who had sown that seed 
vhich had risen to a magnificent tree, which, in the maturity of 
its growth, overshadowed the odious and abominable inquisition, 
and under the shade of whose spreading branches the forlorn 
liberties of mankind found security and shelter. 

At the time when the armies of France threatened desolation 
to Spain, the Marquis of AYellesley was at Cadiz, and then 



184 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



cheered the royal party there. " Cultivate," said he, u the affec- 
tion of the people. Instil into their minds the blessings of good 
and equal government, and in the combined energies of an ap- 
proving people you will find the best bulwark for your, throne, 
and the best security to your dominions.'* This is the advice he 
then gave, and the wisdom of this advice, it is believed, is now 
felt and adopted. 

It has been said, and I trust it is true, that his illustrious 
brother, the Duke of Wellington, has added another ray to the 
star of his fame, by refusing to join the Holy Alliance in the 
invasion of peaceful and neutral states. May the admonition 
of the Marquis of Wellesley be the monitor of his decision ! 

In the same language the noble Marquis will now address his 
Majesty and the British parliament. He will point out the 
misery that mischievous faction has entailed upon the country, 
and assure England, as he assured Spain, that the best security 
to the throne and constitution is ever found in the united ener- 
gies of a united people. And whenever the liberties of Spain 
are consummated, and Ireland made prosperous in the union of 
her children, the gratitude of the admiring world must surround 
the man, the wisdom of whose counsels essentially aided the 
one, and the fearless energy of whose impartial administration 
achieved the other. (Continued cheering for several minutes.) 

It is our duty, my lord, to co-operate in the achievement of 
this goodly work. Let the Protestant join the Catholic in dis- 
countenancing the green badge of ifcibbonism, and the Catholic, 
in turn, unite with the Protestant in abolishing the ribbon em- 
blematic of Orangeism ; for in the abandonment of every symbol 
of faction, and in the annihilation of every illegal association in 
Ireland, the peace and prosperity of Ireland can only find a 
commencement and a basis. These, my lords and gentlemen, 
are the sentiments which this occasion, and the presence of this 
respectable and thronged assembly inspire in my mind. 

I am grateful for the attention with which I have been re- 
ceived — grateful, too, for the cheers which have greeted me — 
not for any idle vanity I take in them, but because they con- 
vince me that the sentiments I have uttered, find their echo in 
the approbation of all who hear me, and, still more, because I 
recognize in them the united and concordant sentiments of my 
Protestant and Catholic fellow-countrymen. I trust the union 
of this day may be perpetual. I fondly hope so, as it is only 
from the perpetuity of such an union we can ever expect to 
please the King, to make the people happy, or the nation great* 



DANIEL O'COOTTEUj, ESQ., V.P. 



185 



The learned gentleman sat down amidst the loud and general cheering of the meeting. 

An address was Drought forward by the committee, and for the first time, but not the 
last, Daniel O'Connell and the Orangemen's pet, the late Sir Abraham Bradley King, wero 
brought into friendly contact. 

Moved by Daniel O'Connell, Esq., and seconded by Sir A. B. King, Bart., 

" 7. Resolved — 4 That the address now reported by the committee be adop- 
ted as the address of the meeting, and that the Eight Hon. the Lord Mayor be 
requested to piesent the same, in the most prompt and respectful manner, to his 
Excellency.' 

M 8. Resolved — ' That the Lord Mayor do now quit the chair, and that his 
Grace the Duke of Lelsster do take the same.' " 

The offenders in this " conspiracy," two carpenters named Handwich, and a shoemaker 
named Graham, were capitally committed, but a Dublin grand jury, of " the right sort," 
ignored the bills. 

Early in the summer of the year, the summary of whose public events, connected with 
Mr. O'Connell, we are now concluding, he sent his family to the South of France, for the 
benefit of Mrs. O'Connell's health. They embarked at*Dublin for Bordeaux, and thence 
proceeded to the town of Pau, in the department of the Basses Pyrenees, to await his 
coming. 

In the month of August, he was enabled to leave Ireland to join them, and, proceeding 
by Dover and Calais, first visited his relative, General Count O'Connell, in Paris. During 
his journey thence through France, to the southward, a trifling incident occurred, which 
afforded him much amusement. 

One of his fellow-passengers in the Diligence was a French sea-captain, whether of the 
naval or the merchant service did not appear. He was a fine well-looking man, of pre- 
possessing appearance and manner, until, after being in the vehicle some time, he found 
out that he was in company with what he supposed an Englishman ; at once his whole 
demeanour changed — very possibly with the recollection of some injuries sustained at sea 
from English cruisers— and he commenced, and kept up, a continued fire of abuse and 
denunciations of the English, and everything belonging to them. 

From time to time he paused, as if to see what effect his violence might have on the 
Englishman, as he conceived Mr. O'Connell to be. Provoked at the uninterrupted equa- 
nimity of the latter, and at, perhaps, seeing something like a smile upon his face, he re- 
newed his philippics with greater virulence than before, but with no greater effect upon 
him whom they were intended to irritate. At length, losing all patience, he turned 
directly to Mr. O'Connell, and giving vent to a still more violent and roughly -worded anti- 
Anglican diatribe than before, he asked him— 

" Do you hear me, monsieur ?— do you understand me ?" 

" Perfectly," was the quiet reply. 

M Eh bien— comment, done— have you nothing to say to me after that ? Do you not 
resent my attack on your country and your countrymen?" 

" I have no cause to resent anything you have said, On the contrary, I think much of 
it is richly deserved. Besides, you have not attacked my country, nor my countrymeu." 

" Comment! Monsieur est Anglais — n'est ce pas?" 

" Non, monsieur, je sui3 Irlandais, a votre service et n'ai nullement raison dc me 
facher. n 

It still required a little explanation before the excited Frenchman could entirely com- 
prehend the extent of his mistake ; but the moment he did so, his demonstrations of hos- 
tility were changed to those of the greatest delight ; and, during the rest of the time they 
were travelling together, nothing could exceed his politeness and anxiety to show his Irith 
companion every attention in his power. 

The latter part of his journey Mr. O'Connell had to post, and had to encounter a lc^s 



186 SELECT SPEECHES OF 

agreeable Incident than that just related. Having, through a misconception of his orders, 
been taken along the route to Bayonne, instead of that to Pau, and not ascertaining the 
error until just at the close of a most exhausting day, during "which he had been keeping 
himself up with anticipation of immediately seeing his family, he learned, in answer to 
an inquiry as to the exact; distance yet between him and Pau, that he was at the second or 
third last stage from Baysmvie, and nearly forty leagues, by cross roads, from his real des- 
tination. The miserable r ight travelling to get back into the right road, and the long, 
long day of weariness that followed, were long most disagreeably remembered. 

After a few weeks' sojourn at Pau, he brought his family to Tours, where he left them 
to spend the winter, and returned to his public and legal duties in Ireland. His son Mor«. 
gan, who had now been two years returned from South America, accompanied him as far 
as Paris, and there parted him, to join the Austrian army, as a cadet in a light dragoon 
regiment. 



THEATRE BIOTS. 

COUNTY DUBLIN, 8TH JANUARY, 1823 

The outrage in the Dublin theatre, committed against the Marquis of Wellesley, gave rise 
to a multitude of meetings, besides that we have already noticed, at all of which addresses 
were agreed to, and forwarded to the Lord Lieutenant.* The county of Dublin met at Kil- 
tnainham, on "Wednesday, the 18th of January, 1823— the High Sheriff in the ehair. 

To one of the resolutions — which went to attribute the outrage in question to [a "con- 
spiracy" — the High Sheriff a little demurred, as not being, in his opinion, a question withiL 
the object of the meeting. A gentleman present expressed his concurrence in the Sheriff's 
view o'f the matter, and suggested further, that the men were yet untried, who stood 
charged with the outrage, and their case might be prejudiced. 

Mr. O'Connell had listened with respectful attention to the 
objection which the High Sheriff had made to putting the reso- 
lution from the chair, and had also listened to the very respec- 
table young gentleman (Mr. Hamilton, jun.), who had very pro- 
perly stated his additional ground of objection and opposition to 
the resolution. He hoped, however, that if he were fortunate 
enough to remove the objections of Mr. Hamilton and the High 
Sheriff, he would have the honour of their concurrence with him 
as to the propriety of the motion being put. 

The Sheriffs objection was, that the proposed resolution did 
not come within the limits of the requisition under which the 
meeting had been convened. He should respectfully submit, 
however, that the resolution was not only a part, but a necessary 
and an essential part of 1 the proceedings of the day, as implied 
in the requisition. 

They had met to address his Excellency — upon what occasion? 
Upon his escape from an attempt at assassination ; and from a 
conspiracy of which the interchange of signals — the aggregation 



DANIEL O'COXXELL, ESQ., M.P. 187 j 

of a knot of persons in one part of the theatre — their riotous de- ! 
portment — the heavy missiles hurled — and their inflammatory 
printed placards, gave irresistible attestation. It was, there- 
fore, impossible — plainly impossible — to separate that resolution 
from the object of the requisition. 

Besides, he would respectfully remind the Sheriff that his 
constitutional duty was to put the resolution, although he might 
not accord to the sentiment it conveyed. He (the High Sheriff) 
would not be held, and was not, accountable for the resolutions ! 
that might be passed at that meeting. The responsibility of 
these resolutions devolved upon the gentlemen who proposed 
and seconded them, and upon the meeting in general. 

With regard to the objection made by Mr. Hamilton, that 
the resolution prejudged the case of the accused persons, he felt 
that if it involved an undue anticipation of justice, he would be 
the last person to say one word in favour of it. To prejudge a 
case, two circumstances wers necessary. First, that it should 
anticipate an event which was about to occur ; and, secondly, 
that it should refer to persons who were concerned in that event, j 
No name or person was introduced into the resolution, and 
therefore it did not possess that qualification of prejudging a 
case. As to that portion of it which- stated the outrage to be j 
an "attempt at assassination," it surely did not prejudge any 
case ; as. by the admission of Mr. Hamilton himself, the capital 
charge was withdrawn ; and, therefore, the question of assassi- 
nation would not be discussed or entertained in any trial that 
might take place on the subject of the outrage. (Much applause.) i 
But as they knew the outrage to be literally an attempt at as- 
sassination, they had a right to assert their opinion, belief, and 
knowledge. He (Mr. O'Connell) had himself heard the Marquis 
of Wellesley say, " Let the hand of the assassin strike now !" I 
He had used the term of assassination, and he asked the meet- j 
ing, could they, in truth and justice, do less than assert it also ? ! 

The Sheriff expressed himself satisfied with the reasons adduced by Mr. O'Connell, a* i 
to the propriety of putting the resolution, and it was accordingly put and carried. 

Mr. Borne, king's counsel, next offered himself to the meeting, and, after a very ani- 
mated speech, concluded by moving three resolutions, the first of which was, M to trace 
the late outrage to a desperate and disappointed faction, and to call for the interposition ! 
of the strong arm of the law to defeat its machinations, and thereby prevent the recurrence ; 
of so odious and disgraceful an atrocity." 

The Rev. Tighe Gregory atrongly protested against th# general inculpation of the Orange 
body, by tbe terms of Mr. Burne's resolution. 

The High Sheriff supported him. 

Mr. O'Connell was convinced the High Sheriff would do what 
he thought was right. He was glad to find those persons who 



183 



SELECT SPEECHES OF. 



had once been suspected of disloyalty, now ready to exert every 
nerve in proclaiming to the world their conviction that a friend 
filled the throne, and that a generous and merciful monarch 
was their legitimate prince ! He dwelt on the necessity of 
putting the resolution, and solemnly declared that if any reso- 
lution, expressive of the folly of Ribbonism — of its madness and 
absurdity, had been under consideration — (and to these Ribbon- 
men he would say, " You are not Roman Catholics if you belong 
to a society collected together for the purposes of anarchy") — if 
such a resolution were before the meeting, he would be bound 
to sign it ; and he himself would borrow, if possible, a voice of 
thunder, to drown a Ribbonman, that should be heard from the 
Giant's Causeway to Cape Clear. He thought the same neces- 
sity existed for expressing abhorrence at the illegal society he 
now alluded to. If the High Sheriff refused, such an act would 
be throwing his shield over those whom the meeting wished to 
condemn. He was convinced he was utterly incapable of coun- 
tenancing any party whatever. 

A warm dissussion took placo on this point, but at last the High Sheriff yielded with 
regard to it also; and Mr. Burne's resolution was put and carried unanimously. 

A committee was then appointed to draw up an address to his excellency —Mr. Hamilton, 
sen., Mr. O'Connell, Mr. White, M.P., county Dublin, Lord Cloncurry, Mr. Burne, K.C., 
Mr. Evans, and Mr. O'Neill. Retiring for a short while, they speedily returned with the 
address, which was read by Lord Cloncurry. 

Mr. O'Connell then expressed his pleasure at Mr. Hamilton's 
having nominated him upon the committee, where the utmost 
ananimity had prevailed. He had chanced to be the only Ca- 
tholic on it, and was happy to bear his testimony, that there 
had not been a gentleman on it whose liberality had not ex- 
ceeded his own. 

He was also very happy, indeed, to remark the unanim.ty of 
the meeting. From one quarter only and in one instance, had 
there been observed any difference of opinion on the necessity 
of a strong and determined expression of public abhorrence of 
the late flagrant and vile outrage. The gentleman by whom 
that difference of opinion had been expressed, was in error (said 
Mr. O'Connell), and I feel happy in correcting him. He talked 
of the principles that placed the king upon his throne — the 
principles that placed him there were those of civil and religious 
liberty. (Cheering.) 

I would tell the reverend divine that his Majesty the King 
sits on the proudest and greatest throne in Europe, because a 
revolution had hurled a bigot from his seat, to make room for 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



189 



the present line of sovereigns. (Loud huzzas, which interrupted 
the learned gentleman for several moments.) The bigot who 
had been deprived of majesty, lost it, because he had dared to 
endeavour to enslave his people — to fetter them in the vilest 
bonds, and coerce the consciences of his subjects. (Cheers.) 
The magnanimous people flung the great despot from his exalted 
station. They drove him from his throne, and placed King 
William on it, upon principles which I most heartily applaud. 
(Loud and reiterated bravos, the assembly waving their hats.) 
And these are real Jacobins who, adopting the principles of 
the justly-dethroned King James, would vainly attempt to trench 
on civil and religious liberty. 

Sir, I would be among the first who, in honest sincerity, would 
drink the glorious memory of King William, if it was not the 
custom in Ireland to affix ideas coupled with insults to " memo- 
ries." 

I hope, sir, that this wretched country is about to look on a 
new day. With a climate like ours, shores indented by spacious 
harbours, every fleet that leaves our green island might be made 
the conveyances of such plenty, the product of our fertile soi], 
ns would be sufficient to feed half the world. But, sir, we are 
otherwise employed. Instead of availing themselves of the great 
blessings bestowed by a bountiful Providence, Irishmen are busy 
in the pursuit of " discord," under the name of " religion," and 
unmindful of the sacred instructions of their God, who said, 
" Be known as my disciples, if you love one another." I hope, 
Mr. Chairman, that the reverend gentleman will excuse my 
preaching. (Huzzas.) I trust he will excuse my transient 
usurpation of his calling. He has said he was no barrister ; I 
am no clergyman. I have preached unanimity, however, and 
I would say to him — " Go thou and do likewise." (Cheers.) 

Lord Cloncurry was moved into the second chair, and the meeting* separated in good 
humour, at an observation of his lordship's, relative to his differeut treatment that day, 
and on the last day he had been at a meeting there— the occasion when the then sheriff 
had him removed by force. 

THE CATHOLIC ASSOCIATION. 
April 25, 1823. 

The time was now at hand when the reel Catholic Association— the association that in its 
organization, activity, and efficiency, so very far surpassed all the bodies that had gone 
before it, whether Catholic Boards, Catholic Committees, or whatever their designation- 
Mas to be called into existence. 



190 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



Little did the government imagine what an engine was about to he set at work." Catho- 
lic agitation seemed to them, at that moment, to he sunk below contempt. The divisions 
of the veto, the continued disappointments of hope, in .particular, the utter annihilation 
of the sanguine, and apparently most assured hope, the king's visit and fair speeches had 
excited; the impunity, absolute and unbroken, which was given to the wildest Orange 
excesses, had the most depressing and deadening influence upon the spirits of the Catho- 
lics, and few, very few, indeed, anticipated the extraordinary moral resurrection that was 
now about to take place. 

The first public symptom of what was coming was a meeting not regularly convened, 
nor by any means well attended,, at Dempsey's rooms in Sackville-street, upon Friday, the 
25th April. 

At this meeting, Mr. O'Connell thus shadowed out the great project upon which he had 
resolved to enter : — 

Mr. O'Connell rose to second the motion of Mr. O'Connor. 
He observed that much had been said in former times about the 
heat and intemperance of Catholic "leaders," as they were called , 
but sure he was that no intemperance could have placed Catholic 
affairs in a more melancholy condition than that to which they 
were reduced at present. (Hear, hear.) 

If the Catholics looked back for years, he would confidently 
say, they would find that they had not the guilt even of a mis- 
take to answer for. They were, in fact, accused of no miscon- 
duct. If their names were mentioned in parliament, it was for 
the purpose of bestowing some approbation upon them. Yet 
what was the reward of their conduct ? A state of things more 
degrading, if not more hopeless, than anything that has yet been 
witnessed in Ireland. (Loud cries of hear, hear.) 

" Under these circumstances, two or three measures appeared 
to him expedient, or indeed indispensable. First, some persons 
must take the trouble of managing the affairs of the Catholics. 
The people owe it to the country and to themselves, that if their 
cause retrogrades, it shall not be, at least, through utter* and 
shameful negligence. They do not deserve, and they should not 
allow, the blame to rest for one moment upon themselves. 
(Cheers.) The Orangemen are sufficiently active : no man could 
accuse them of allowing opportunities to pass unused ; they were 
ever found ready, not only to use them, but to abuse them to 
the uttermost, whenever it was in their power. They have their 
"admirable organization," as it has been called, their presses here 
and in London, their lodges, their enormous revenues drawn 
thtough pensions and places from the pockets of the people ; 
and they have the undisguised sanction and encouragement of 
nine-tenths — no, but ninety-nine hundredths — of the persons fill- 
ing the most prominent departments connected with the go- 
vernment of the country. (Loud cheers.) 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



191 



" In this state of things it would certainly seem ; strange if 
there was no body of confidential persons to whom the people 
of Ireland could look, even for counsel — none to whom they 
could turn in their distresses and maddening sufferings, and 
crave sympathy and what aid there might be means of giving. 
It was dangerous to leave the people without some body of re- 
cognized friends of theirs, to whom they could at least give vent 
to their complaints. (Hear, hear.) He (Mr. O'Connell) would, 
therefore, strongly recommend the formation of such a body of 
persons. Particular cases need not be referred to, but it would 
be useless to conceal, that if things went on in this country as 
they have recently done, Catholic life or property, would not, 
in a little time, be commonly safe, even in the capital itself. 
(Hear, hear.) 

The learned gentleman next proceeded to point out the neces- 
sity of calling an aggregate meeting, as another measure ren- 
dered indispensable by the character of the times, and also to 
show the expediency of a representation to the King. 

There was a fourth duty which he considered imperative on 
the body, and that was, an expression of the ardent and unquali- 
fied gratitude with which the entire conduct of Mr. Plunket, 
since his accession to office, has filled the breasts of the Catholic 
people. (Loud cheers.) 

Meetings were now coming thick ; so, without delaying with commentaries, we hasten to 
record them, and show how the foundation was laid for the great edifice that was about to 
be raised in the sacred name of liberty, civil and religious. 

On Wednesday, the 30th April, Dempsey's Rooms saw another gathering of' the chief 
Catholics, to arrange as to the resolutions which were to be brought forward* at'thc. in- 
tended Catholic aggregate meeting. 

The following is the brief account of the main part of it, as given in the journals of the 
day, with the requisition on which the aggregate meeting was summoned. 

After Sir Edward Belle w had been moved to the chair, and had briefly alluded to the 
business that had brought them together, and'Mr. ShieMiad also spoken upon the subject, 
Mr. O'Connell was called upon. 

Among a variety of other remarks, 

Mr. O'Connell observed that he came forwari with the ut- 
most deference to tender his advice. It was a time when all 
who considered they could offer anything of benefit to the com- 
mon interest, were bound, in conscience and duty, to come for- 
ward. As for himself, his first and last recommendation to his 
afflicted countrymen would be, to take the management of their 
own affairs, and to proceed in that management with firmness 
and unanimity. (Cheers.) 

They saw the wretched condition to which their cause had 
I been reduced. No one ought to be surprised at it: there was 



192 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



tiothing out of the ordinary course of things in it : it was just 
that condition to which must be reduced the concerns of any 
men, or set of men, deluded enough to put their trust in the 
agency of others. (Hear, hear.) 

As to firmness and unanimity, if ever these qualities were de- 
sirable, were necessary in the affairs of an unfortunate people, 
assuredly this is the time when there is the utmost need of their 
exhibition and maintenance. The Catholics had opposed to 
them a faction as weak in intellect certainly as it was despicable 
in principle ; but despicable as it was, simple contempt of it 
was not safe. It was formidable, most formidable, not of itself, 
but inasmuch as it was backed and supported by power. (Hear, 
hear, hear.) However contemptible the faction was in numeri- 
cal strength, no one would dispute that it had not only arranged 
itself in the most envenomed hostility against every thing that 
could be called liberal in principle, and that was deemed essen- 
tial to popular right ; but had been hitherto able to sustain it- 
self, though opposed by the sovereign authority itself. (Hear, 
hear.) 

He thought it the duty of the aggregate meeting to pass, on 
behalf of Mr. Plunket, a resolution declaratory of their gratitude 
and entire confidence, and that it should be couched in as ardent 
and unqualified terms as the language could afford. (Loud ap- 
plause.) He looked upon Mr. Plunket as having been made a 
perfect martyr to his public duty. He was now actually stand- 
ing the brunt of a persecution, more audacious, more persevering, 
itnd more inveterately malignant than any other person, public 
or private, even in this country of persecution, had ever before 
to encounter. (Cries of hear, hear.) 

If Mr. Plunket is suffering, has suffered, or is doomed to re- 
main a lasting object of factious rancour, it is because he has 
endeavoured to break the chains of his Catholic countrymen. 
(Hear, hear.) Did he only consent to desert his duty like others, 
to basely betray the cause he had pledged himself so devotedly to 
serve, there is no one who would stand higher in the estimation 
of faction than Mr. Plunket. 

After inveighing in very animated terms against the conduct 
of those who described Mr. Plunket as a tyrant, and stating the 
case in which the late Attorney- General filed an ex-officio infor- 
mation after the bills had been ignored (the case of the bottle- 
throwers), he proceeded to remark, that if a lawless press traduced 
him publicly and privately — he would repeat, that if (as the 
fact was) Mr. Plunket were now persecuted in all ways, with a 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



193 



savage malignity for which there is no parallel in the history of 
party in this or any other country, it was because he had not 
abandoned his duty towards the sacred cause of religious freedom. 

When Mr. O'Connell had concluded, a committee of eleven was appointed to prepare 
the resolutions and the address. The gentlemen named were, Sir E. Bellew, Daniel 
O'Connell, John Howly, Eneas McDonnell, Cornelius Lyne, Hugh O'Connor, A. Strong 
Hussey, Lawrence Clinch, T. M'Donnell, Purcell O'Gorman, and William Murphy. 



" AGGREGATE MEETING. 

u TO N. P. o'GORMAN, ESQ., SECRETARY TO THE CATHOLICS QF IRELAND. 

" April, 1823. 

w We, the undersigned, request that you will, on the earliest day that may 
be convenient, call an aggregate meeting of the Catholics of Ireland, in Dublin, 
to take into consideration such constitutional measures as ought to be adopted 
in the present unprecedented posture of Catholic affairs. 



Netterville. 
Killeen. 

Thos. Esmonde, Bart. 
Sir E. Bellew. 
John Burke, Bart 
Goiiville Ffrench. 
Cornelius Lyne. 
Kean Mahony. 
John Murphy. 
Edward White, 
Michael Corcoran. 
Richard Corballis. 
David Lynch. 
Thomas Fitzgerald. 
William Forde. 
Michael Hughes. 
Joh*i Burke. 
Edward Hogan. 
J. P. Nugent. 
Roger Hayes. 
William Murphy. 
John Donohue. 
William Conlan. 
Patrick Oliver Plunkei. 
Bryan Cogan. 
Thos. M'Donnell. 
Patrick Scanlan. 
John Fitzpatrick. 
D'Arcy Ay re. 
Thomas Talbot 



Lawrence Finn. 
Thomas Furlong. 
William Shine. 
S. Young. 
Joseph Plunket, 
James Keating. 
Robert James Staunton. 
Hugh O'Connor. 
Yal. O'Connor. 
N. Power, co. Waterford. 
Patrick Costello. 
J. M'Namara, co. Clare. 
John Howly, jun. 
0' Conor Don. 
Patrick Grehan. 
Michael O'Loghnan. 
John Fox. 
James Coiballis. 
Richard O'Gorman. 
John Mac Laughlin. 
John Joseph Scanlan. 
Pierce Ronayne. 
Daniel Ferrall. 
Michael O'Brien. 
James J. Callanan. 
Anthony Browne. 
Thomas Chamberlaine. 
Christopher M'Donnell. 
Michael Sweetmau. 



Mark Malone. 
Edward Conlan. 
Peter Chamberlaine. 
Robert Walsh. 
Andrew Ennis. 
Patrick Keely. 
George O'Neill. 
John Ennis. 
Hugh M'Donald. 
John Walsh. 
Hugh O'Loghlen. 
Francis M'Donnell. 
Charles Cavanagh. 
Stephen Woulfe. 
John Power.. 

Maurice O'Connell, Dar- 

rynane. 
Daniel O'Connell. 
John O'Connell, Grena 

Kiilarnev. 
Richard Shiel. 
Elias Corbally. 
Michael Roche. 
Jonathan Lynch. 
Henrv Lambert. 
J. P. Corballis. 
Eneas M'Donnell 
Thomas C. Duff?. 
James O'Shauglmessy. 
John Burke. 



VOL. II. 



N 



194 



SFXECT SPEECHES OF 



Patrick Waldron. 
Robert Molloy. 
Brian Molloy. 
James Con oily ,, 
James Troy. 
Henry O'Hara. 
-Anthony O'Brien. 
John Thomas Power. 
Joseph Dwyer. 
John Byrne. 
John Costigan. 
Luke Dillon. 
John Del any. 
Patrick Donohue. 
John Redmond. 
Thomas Merrin. 
Bartholomew Murphy. 
Lawrence -Clinch. 
L. H. Wangle. 



Richard Dunkett. 
Patrick O'Hara. 
James O'Connell, Lake- 
view, Killarney. 
Patrick James Harte. 
Myles Staunton. 
Cornelius Mac Laughlin. 
Nicholas Marion. 
Christopher Fitzsimon. 
John O'Brien. 
Thomas Mahon. 
Peter Daly. 
William Granger. 
Thomas Roche, Limerick. 
James Esmonde. 
James Sugrue. 
Dominic Ronayne. 
James Edmund Byrne. 
Michael Walsh. 



John Corley. 
Patrick O'DonnelL 
James Rossiter. 
James Charles Bacon. 
Patrick Bcaghan. 
James Egan. 
Philip Molloy. 
Thomas Dwyer. 
Michael Powell. 
John M 'Powell. 
John Walsh. 
John Malone. 
Francis Brophv. 
W. H. Beglian. 
James Ennis. 
Joseph Denis Mullen. 
John J. Burke, INYO. 
Charles Mac Donnell. 
Maurice King. 



" Pursuant to the above requisition, I hereby require a general meeting of the 
Catholics of Ireland, to be held in Dublin, on Saturday, the 10th day of May 
next, at the hour of one o'clock in the afternoon, for the purposes in the said 
requisition mentioned. 

"Nicholas Pukcell O'Gokmax, 

" Harcourt-place, Merrion-square; 
" Secretary to the Roman Catholics of Ireland. 

" The meeting will take place at Townsend-street Chapel." 



According to the terms of this requisition, the Catholics assembled at the place and 
time indicated— Lord Killeen in the chair. 

" Mr. O'Gokman read a letter he had received from the Earl of Donough- 
more, stating that in consequence of the late event respecting the Catholic ques- 
tion in the House of Commons, he thought it more prudent to await the result 
of the intended aggregate meeting, than present to the House of Lords the peti- 
tion with which his Catholic countrymen had honoured him. 

" Sir E. Beixew then reported the address from the committee appointed at 
/he preparatory meeting ; and it was read, and unanimously agreed to. 

" Mr. Hugh O'Connor having moved the adoption of the following resolu- 
tion, viz. : — 

" Resolved— 1 That the Right Honourable William Conyngham Plunlvet is entitled to 
our warmest gratitude and confidence, for the zeal, eloquence, and sincerity with which 
he has uniformly sustained our cause. That we recognize his just claims to the most 
faithful support and attachment of the Catholics of Ireland ; and look forward with sen- 
timents of exultation to his ultimate and entire triumph over those enemies to public 
justice and repose, who have arrayed themselves in hostility to that liberal and enlightened 
policy of which he is so powerful an advocate.' 

Mr. O'Connell, upon seconding this resolution, spoke 4 o the 
following effect : — 

He would not promise to be brief, for he never felt his mind 



DAXIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 195 

big with so many topics that should be addressed to his beloved 
iellow-countrymen, the Catholics of Ireland. 

These topics were so numerous, and of such mighty import 
that he knewnotwhere to commence, or when he should have done 

The Catholics were called upon, by present circumstances, to 
do something for their country, unless they were content to bo 
abandoned by their friends, or trampled down by the infuriated 
rancour of a vile faction. We live (said the learned gentleman) 
in the richest country in the universe, and amongst the poorest 
people Admirably situated for a ready intercourse with all 
parts of the world ; our coast everywhere indented with excel • 
lent harbours, affording shelter against everv win i : its soil 
fertile to a proverb, producing ten times more than could be 
consumed by ten times iff population— and in that consists the 
real riches of a country, for money is wealth, only because it 
enables its possessors to enjoy those natural riches ; but in Ire- 
land the superabundant produce was considered as o Tea t a cur*e 
as its superabundant population. ° 

We have a beneficent and gracious sovereign, who. as far as 
m him lies, has done everything for us ; but has been able to 
eiiect nothing, because the blighting voice of intolerance and 
persecution has been raised, to check in its growth everv patriotic 
feeling', every sentiment of liberality, unanimity, and mutual -ood 
will. ° 

It was said, indeed, that this should be the case with a coun- 
try possessing every natural capability of being great and happy 
—a country remarkable for the ready intellect and mental 
qualifications of her sons, which, improved by the blessings of a 
sound education, might be rendered so eminently conducive to 
her prosperity and lasting tranquillity. As a proof of the high 
nature of these qualifications, he might, he conceived, without 
any sacrifice of Christian principle, turn the tables upon some 
portion of the holy hypocrites, and their shameless abettors, who 
were accustomed to abuse this country. The Lancasterian 
system of education had been founded in England for educating 
children up to the age of fourteen years ; it was introduced into 
Ireland, and it was found that here the children had, by the 
eighth year, consumed the entire of the system. This was not 
a soutary instance of the disposition and abilities of Irishmen 
—they were universal ; and yet it was the fashion amon-st a 
portion ot their own countrymen to decry them as intractable, 
wild and insensible to the comforts of civilization ; and in this 
spirit did the learned hypocrites of the Kildare-street Association 



106 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



suppress, in their report, the fact he had just stated, though 
they had first agreed upon mentioning it — yet they afterwards 
struck it out of their printed annual report. 

He should deal openly with all parties, and would, therefore, 
state his authority : it was Mr. Jackson, the secretary of the 
association and a respectable barrister. 

Irishmen never combat to be upon a level with, but always 
above their competitors. (Hear, hear.) There was not an army 
in Europe but was led by Irishmen ; there was not a corner of 
the world but resounds with their achievements. When Maria 
Theresa founded a new order of honour and merit, out of the 
first fifty officers who received the decoration, no less than forty- 
two were Irishmen. 

And why are they not more generally celebrated in the service 
of their country ? Let the intolerant, persecuting bigot answer. 
All they want, Cobbett says, is " a clear stage and fair play." 
(Hear, hear.) But that clear stage they had hitherto been in- 
sultingly refused. 

Did those who so foully and insolently calumniated their 
fellow -countrymen show, by their conduct, any real anxiety for 
the improvement of the latter ] What efforts towards such an 
>nd had they made that could at all justify them in adopting 
the tone of censorship ? Were the misguided peasantry to be 
admonished, and weaned from their illegal and destructive courses, 
by the example of the so-called loyal writers in the Orange press 
— ever advocating courses the most violent, wicked, and destruc- 
tive ? Were the people to be educated by these parties out of 
all bad passions 1 Were they exhorted to love and respect one 
another, and to study their own and their country's good % Were 
these the doctrines inculcated by the education societies, legislat- 
ing through the means of parliamentary agents % , The reverse 
was, unhappily, the case. A bribe was held out to the child to 
desert his parent, and encourage him to turn into ridicule the 
minister of his faith, and to profane the name of his redeeming 
God, by proclaiming religion the watchword to disseminate eter- 
nal hate and destruction to his fellow man, on account of a differ* 
ence of creed. 

I ask, what can be assigned as the cause of this monstrous 
and unnatural inveteracy of bigotry on the one side, and of the 
spirit of insubordination and wild outrage on the other ] The 
answer is not far, nor hard to find. The cause of this distracted 
state of our land, and of the dwellers in it, is to be traced and 
found in the long, long series of misrule and misgovernment by 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 197 

another country. I thank my God, no man can say these cir- 
cumstances have resulted from the Irish governing themselves! 
(Hear, hear, hear.) . 

I now turn to a more pleasing topic : none of this mis- 
management is attributable to our present Irish government, 
but the preceding piebald administration. As far as the King 
himself is concerned, no patriot the most ardent could testify 
a truer anxiety for the alleviation of our misfortunes. (Hear, 
hear, and loud and continued applause.) He came the first of 
his race amongst us, in the spirit of peace, and for the promo- 
tion of unanimity and concord, as far as his own example could 
go. It was then I, for once, saw union amongst all classes of 
Irishmen ; and, oh, blessed sight ! may I witness it again. 
(Hear, hear.) Then man was in natural communication with 
his fellow-man; and Irishmen apparently enjoyed that which 
their country has so long needed — that which she now so sadly 
needs — a union of feeling and of sentiment. • 

As there has been talk about the faults of the Irish people, 
let us fairly investigate who are really to blame for the dissipa- 
tion of Ireland's hopes. 

We (the Catholics) met to make arrangements for receiving 
oar King, and we were ignorant of his conciliating intentions, 
towards Irishmen ; but from our inherent love and loyalty to 
the throne, we determined on giving him the warmest and most 
affectionate reception on his coming amongst us. We were in 
consultation in Earl-street, when Mr. Barret Wadden (that re- 
spectable gentleman who was lately examined before the House 
of Commons) was announced as having an important communi- 
cation to make. He informed us there was a disposition on 
the part of the corporation and Protestants to unite with their 
Catholic fellow-citizens in measures for giving his Majesty such 
reception as would be agreeable to him ; and this was actually 
followed by the arrival of Lord Mayor King. It is well known 
we had never received anything but insult and contempt from 
a set of men equally selfish and equally stupid, who, to gratify 
their malignant feelings, decorate their marble idol, to celebrate 
the defeat of their own countrymen by a Dutch adventurer 
(laughter and applause) \ yet in the genuine spirit of concilia- 
tion we received the proposals of even Abraham King. 

There were some amongst us, to be sure, more prudent than 
Mr. Skid and myself, who accompanied the lord mayor to his 
meeting ; and then I was Daniel in the lion's den. Some Ca- 
tholic gentlemen held aloof, stili doubting tb* sincerity of cor- 



198 



SELECT SPEECHES OP 



porate bigots, when" professing liberality ; they wished to see 
practical proofs of their reformation, and they received them — 
for the next day but one the statue was dressed I 

We remonstrated, and something was promised. Promises 
are easy ; and these were kept with as good faith as all the 
other engagements of the corporation. I did not believe their 
promises at the time, but I saw no use in telling them so. What 
noise was at this time about conciliation, and the wishes of the 
King ! and who more vociferous in his professions than Orange 
Abraham ? He was then A. B. King, Esq. It is to that as- 
sumed liberality, and spirit of conciliation, he owes his baro- 
netcy ; though he has the audacity since to avow and boast that 
his pretended liberality was merely a surtout, which he found 
more congenial to his principles to throw off immediately after ; 
and, my lord, what faith can even his bigoted associates put in 
his professions, when he proclaims that his signature and assent 
to a solemn resolution was a mere farce 1 

Here is the sprt of conciliation which the corporation have 
evinced, and which he, impatient of the unnatural disguise, 
could not keep twenty-four hours after it was professed. By 
reason of that hypocritical liberality, and dissembling with the 
Sovereign, did Mr. King obtain his present title. Has he not 
thrown off the covering of dissimulation, and proclaimed aloud 
his apostacy ? I said it was to his professions of conciliation 
that he owes his title ; and to prove it, I shall give you my 
authority. 

Mr. O'Coimell then read the following letter* — 

" 4 Richmond Park, October 9th, 1821. 

" ' My dear Sir — T cannot forbear congratulating jovl upon the complete 
accomplishment of his Majesty's gracious intention to confer upon you the dig- 
nity of a baronet of the United Kingdom. It was a most fortunate circumstance 
that at the period of his Majesty's visit to Ireland the high office of lord mayor 
of Dublin was held by a person of known prudence and discretion, who, by a 
happy union of moderation and firmness, was enabled, without the surrender or 
compromise of any principle, to conciliate the confidence and esteem of all parties. 

" ' Allow me further to express the great pleasure which I have felt in noticing 
your actions, and at the late dinner of the sheriffs, your successful endeavours 
to promote that liberal forbearance and that true benevolence which you have 
so constantly observed and practised whilst in office. 

a ' It is of the greatest importance to Ireland and to the whole empire that 
such an example should be implicitly followed. 

" ' Accept my best wishes for your health and happiness ; and believe me to 
be, with sincere esteem, my dear sir. 

" ' Your faithful and obedient Servant, 

" 1 Sidmouth. 

11 1 To Sir Abraham Bradley King, Bart/ 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 199 

At that period, I defy the tongue of malignity — the most 
shameless audacity of that compound of stupidity and slander- 
ous villany (produced from the crazed brain of a reverend fox- 
hunter, and translated afterwards into better English by his co- 
adjutor), The Warder, even to assert that anything was wanting 
on the part of the Catholics ; I defy, too, the scribblers in that 
papers creditable ally — that reservoir of baseness and calumny, 
n which truth never appears but by accident, The Mail ; I defy 
their virulence — nay, I would appeal to their candour, if of such 
an attribute they could for a moment be supposed to be pos- 
sessed, to point out any one occasion — any one, in which the 
Catholics, either in act, in writing, or in speeching, can be truly 
said to have, in the slightest degree, been accessory to the fail- 
ure of our gracious Monarch's blessed work of conciliation ! 

And what has been the result of our having so meritoriously 
conducted ourselves '? Need I ask you ] Has it not been that 
our cause is abandoned, and that we have neglected our duty to 
ourselves? We have lain quiescent, and permitted the daily 
promulgation of Orange calumny, fearful of infringing the com- 
mands of our Sovereign. 

We saw a portion of the English press (but certainly with 
powers equalling only the dull stupidity of the bird of night) 
teem forth monstrous libels, impeaching our loyalty. We saw 
the stall-fed church dignitary raise against us the voice of sec- 
tarian intolerance and bigotry ; we saw our religion foully tra- 
duced, and ridiculed, and stigmatized ; and we were silent, un- 
i til our enemies were believed : and the Catholics have suffered 
accordingly. 

But there is a point beyond which experiment becomes dan- 
I gerous. The Catholics are men — are Irishmen, and feel within 
their burning breasts the force of natural rights, and the injus- 
tice of natural oppression. (Hear, hear.) Not mn-elv the op- 
pression of grinding statutes have we endured, but a monstrous 
attempt to pollute the stream of justice, through the interfe- 
rence of an attorney-general and a judge. Yes ; I hold in my 
hand the damning proofs of this infamous conspiracy. I hold 
the copy of a letter which I deposited in the hands of our se- 
cretary. This letter was found in the street, and was transmit- 
ted to me by a Catholic clergyman whose name I shall not men- 
tion ; for who knows but if I did, we should shortly have to 
send another petition claiming the justice and interposition of 
the Marquis Wellesiey against the unmerciful and illegal deci- 
sion of a magisterial bench 1 (Great applause.) I shall not, 



200 BELfcCT SPEECHES OF 

therefore, subject him to the persecuting; powers of sessional 
bigotry. 

On the 19th of June, 1822, the letter I have alluded to was 
found in the street ; you shall hear it read. 

" Captain White, R.N., here interrupted Mr. O'Connell, and observed, that 
as the letter was a private one, and not intended originally for the public eye, he 
conceived it was not candid to read it. 

Mr. O'Connell replied, that objection would have no weight, 
for he had published it in the newspapers, and it had been a 
subject of observation in parliament. (Here there was a general 
cry of "read, read and Mr. O'Connell accordingly complied.) 

The following is a copy of the letter • — 

" Dublin Castle, August 9th. 

" Dear Norbury — 1 transcribe for you a very sensible part of Lord 's 

letter to rae : — ' As goes our circuit, and as he is personally acquainted 

■with the gentlemen of our county, a hint to him may be of use. He is in the 
habit of talking individually to them in his chamber, at Phillipstown ; and if 
he were to impress upon them the consequence of the measure — viz., that how- 
ever they may think otherwise, the Catholics would, in spite of them, elect 
Catholic members (if such were eligible) ; that the Catholic members would 
then have the nomination of the sheriffs, and in many instances perhaps of the 
fudges ; and the Protestants would be put in the back-ground, as the Catholics 
were formerly. I think he could bring the effects of the measure home to them- 
selves, and satisfy them that they could scarcely submit to live in the country if 
it were passed. ' 

" So far Lord ; but what he suggests in another part of his letter, i that 

if Protestant gentlemen, who have votes, and influence, and interest, would give 
those venal members to understand, that if they will purchase Catholic votes, by 
betraying their country and its constitution, they shall infallibly lose theirs ; it 
would alter their conduct, though it could neither make them honest or respect- 
able. , 

" If you will judiciously administer a little of this medicine to the King's 
County, and other members of parliament that may fall in your way, you will 
deserve well. 

********* 

" Many thanks for your letter, and its good intelligence from Maryborough. 

is a most valuable fellow, and of that sort that is much wanted. 

44 Affectionately and truly vours, 

"William S n." 

What, he would ask, was the suggested attempt on the preju- 
dices ^and feelings of the jury, compared to this shameless and 
secret interference of a law officer in the administration of jus- 
tice ? An accident threw in his way this proof of official mal- 
versation; but who could tell how many other and/similar let- 
ters might have passed, and been acted upon ? But in another 
world there is no statute of limitation against crime ; and al- 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



201 



though there may be impunity here, it may be answered for at 
the day of general j ustice ! 

The learned gentleman then informed the meeting that he 
had thought it his duty to communicate that letter to the pre- 
sent Attorney -General, requesting that he, in his place, would 
bring it under the consideration of the House of Commons. 
But an obvious delicacy prevented the right honourable gen- 
tleman's compliance with this request; and, perhaps, he was the 
more to be esteemed for refusing to be an actor in a scene con- 
nected with so gross a violation of propriety. 

But the matter was brought before the house by another 
member. When this occurred, the Catholics, in the pure spirit 
of conciliation, exerted themselves, and succeeded in inducing 
their friends in Parliament not to press it. What was the re- 
sult ? — what was their return for so doing 1 That kindly feel- 
jig has been met on the other side by making a jest of the term 
iXmciliation — by a violation of the privileges of the press, in 
calumniating the King's representative, because he dared to be 
just — because he wished to be honest. 

For so daring, and so wishing, the faction turned their sensi- 
tive loyalty against the deputy of the monarch ! 

Are they not the genuine and bona fide rebels, who have thus 
scoffed and contemned the advice of their monarch, and the ex- 
ample of his representative ; and who seek, in fact, to achieve 
a triumph over both 1 Do they not thus show how empty and 
false was all their parade of loyalty, when neither the personal 
injunctions nor the delegated authority of his Majesty can ob- 
tain their respect 1 

This (said the learned gentleman) is the system of which we 
complain. This is the grinding tyranny we wish to abolish, 
that we may freely participate in the blessings of the British 
constitution, and that every man, no matter whatever his creed, 
should be co-equal in the eyes of the law ; that virtue, worth, 
rank, and talent, such as now fills your chair, may not be ex- 
cluded by any paltry monopoly of the constitution from enjoy- 
ing those rights granted to his illustrious ancestors, and with- 
hoiden from him as a punishment for his conscientious adherence 
to their mode of faith — that he should not be stripped of those 
privileges which the law gives to the poorest of his countrymen. 

A Catholic peer cannot vote for a member of the Commons' 
House ; and yet he is deprived of his rights in the other. Strange 
and most insulting anomaly ! and yet but one of the many such 
with which Ireland is aiHicto'l I 



202 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



While we were conducting ourselves, as I have stated, in the 
most faithworthy spirit of conciliation, our enemies, in their dif- 
ferent lodges, in their black associations (for it has, strange to 
say, been lately acknowledged that a black corps forms a part of 
their enlightened and patriotic institution) — in their corporations 
— in their guild of merchants, that absurd and contemptible 
club, which has a name only to belie its legal description — that 
nest of agitators, which has of late forced itself into notice from 
its intemperance and arrogance, and assumed the privilege of 
legislators ; — those political corporators, while we endeavoured 
to conciliate, they persisted to persecute : while our hearts were 
full of peace and good will to all men, theirs were brimming 
over with the worst uncharitableness and malignity to their 
neighbours. 

To turn to considerations less disgusting and sickening, but 
yet not without pain and disappointment to us, the recent oc- 
currences in parliament ; I do not blame that uncompromising 
and zealous patriot, Sir Francis Burdett, for the manner in 
which he has thought fit to deal With regard to our affairs. But, 
though I do not blame him, neither do I approve of his deter- 
mination upon them. But I am sure he intended honestly, 
although I may not think that he acted wisely. Would that I 
could say the same of others ! Would that our weak and divided 
ministry were equally honest ! For it is entirely impossible 
that men can be sincere who will compromise a question of 
this kind. There ought not, there cannot be any difficulty 
about it. It is right, or' it is unjust. Those who think the 
latter cannot conscientiously coalesce with men wicked enough 
to promote an act destructive to the constitution. Those who 
think it right, their course is plain, and ought to be straight- 
forward. They ought not to allow a doubt to lie a moment 
upon them : nor to give any advantage to the men who divide 
with them upon a question of right and justice — of the peace 
and the tranquillity of Ireland. 

And will you, my countrymen, submit to this bartering of 
your privileges and liberties ? Will you, like torpid slaves, lie 
under the lash of the oppressor 1 If we are not free, let us, at 
least, prove ourselves worthy of being so. 

[Here the applause was so general and animated, that several minutes elapsed before 
order was restored.] 

Shall the interests of five millions of men, excluded from the 
benefits of the constitution, be left to the mere eleemosynary 



DANIEL o'cONNELLj ESQ., M.P. 



203 



protection of their advocates in parliament, who, however well 
disposed to shield us from the persecution, insult, and injustice 
of our oppressors, have neither the opportunities of becoming 
acquainted with our daily grievances, nor the time to devote to 
the particular and peculiar circumstances of our situation. 

Let it be, then, our care to attend to the management of our 
local affairs, and by the information we shall possess on Catholic 
affairs, assist our parliamentary advocates in bringing to the 
contest useful and important knowledge respecting our disabili- 
ties and their effects. When a Catholic association existed, 
were they not enabled, by addressing the suffering peasantry, to 
quell three different attempts at insurrection ? if the Catholic 
Association had existed, would they not have been able to warn 
the unsuspecting peasantry against the villany of persons who 
had an actual interest in promoting disaffection ; against the 
wretch who profaned the most sacred ceremonies of the Christian 
religion, in order to go to Belfast, and be enabled to lay the 
foundation of becoming an informer, and whom I tra'ced a year 
ago, to the occupation of alternate informer to the proctor and 
the Kibbonmen ? If the Association had existed, how many of 
our peasantry would have been saved to their families and homes ? 

Our advice would have been listened to, because it would 
have been known to be honest, and the country would have been 
spared from the infringement of the constitution, and the enor- 
mous expense of an additional police, with the irritation occa- 
sioned by sectarian yeomanry corps, which serve no other pur- 
pose than to perpetuate strife, and create a natural desire of 
revenge in the opposite parties. 

If the government wanted a yeomanry, let them not select 
its members for their religion, but their loyalty. Catholics 
would be always found ready and anxious to enter into the bond 
of good-fellowship and union with their Protestant countrymen, 
the great majority of whom, he rejoiced to say, were equally de- 
sirous with the Catholics themselves for the extension of the 
blessings of civil liberty, and equally prepared to leave the cor- 
porate bigots to their fate. If no other object were attained by 
the formation of a Catholic association, the preservation of their 
present legal rights would surely be of signal importance, as in 
'the case of the freemen of the city of Dublin. It was well known 
that Catholics were eligible for thirty-three years past to become 
free of the city, and he (Mr. O'Connell) some years ago endea- 
voured to prevail upon some Catholic gentlemen to assist him 
in establishing that right in the person of a man named Cole. 



201 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



He could get no assistance, and he undertook the affair himself. 
He applied to the Court of King's Bench for a mandamus to ad- 
mit Cole to the freedom of the city. It was granted ; but before 
it could be acted upon, the poor man died. But he (Mr. O'Con- 
nell) could assure their honours there were many persons who 
were equally well entitled to their freedom, and, with the bles- 
sing of God, next term they should have it in defiance of the 
intrigues of the Orange corporation. 

The learned gentleman in conclusion said : These are the sen- 
timents of an humble, but ardent and faithful Irishman, who, 
after twenty-three years' exertions in his country's cause, finds 
her worse than when he commenced his labours ; but who, loving 
new-born freedom with more ardour than lover ever doated upon 
his mistress, still clings to the hope of seeing his country great, 
contented, and free ! (Loud and long-continued cheering.) 

"Sir Thomas Esmonde seconded Mr. O'Connell's resolution, which was 
unanimously agreed to. - 

"Mr. Shiel supported the resolution for the establishment of a Catholic 
association. He differed with Mr. O'Gcnnell relative to the conduct of Sir 
"rancis Burdett on the occasion referred to ; approving of that conduct, and de- 
claring that he did not think the Catholic cause had suffered by the conduct of 
that distinguished person and his friends. 

" The resolution for the appointment of a 

CATHOLIC ASSOCIATION 

was then, put, and carried unanimously. 

A story has appeared in some publications touching on events of the popular agitation 
in Ireland, which we are bound here to notice, in order to correct a mistake. 

It has been stated that the first idea of a Catholic Association arose in a conversation 
between O'Connell and Shiel, at the house of a mutual friend, in the county Wicklow, in 
the spring of 1S23. 

The idea, however, had originated long before the rencontre in question, and originated 
in Mr. O'Connell's mind. He had been for some time revolving it and maturing it in his 
thoughts, ere that event; and the story had its rise from the simple circumstance of his 
having first mentioned his plan of a popular association at a dinner party at Grlencullen, 
the seat of C. Fitzsimon, Esq., the then residence of the late well-known and respected 
T. O'Mara, Esq., where Mr. Shiel was also present. 

Mr. O'Connell then stated that his plan contemplated two classes of members, the one 
paying a pound, the other one shilling a year— the working committee of the body to be 
chosen from the former class. 

This, it is needless to say, was the constitution of the late Repeal Association, and has 
been that of all the various bodies which have tenanted the Corn Exchange Rooms from 
1829 to this day. 

Mr. Shiel expressed doubts ; he feared the plan would not work, and that the time was 
not very siutable for such an effort as the getting up a new association. Mr. O'Connell 
said he considered the time come, and that the plan would work — that, in fact, he would 
make it work. 

He kepi his word. 



DANIEL O'CONKEHj, ESQ., M.P. 



205 



The first meeting of the 44 Catholic Association" is thus introduced in the newspaper 

Accounts : — 

■* Yesterday (Monday, May 12th, 1823), a number of most respectable Catho- 
lic gentlemen assembled at Dempsey's, in Sackville-street, for the purpose of 
forming an association to conduct the Catholic affairs. 

' k Lord Viscount Khjjben was called to the chair. 

rt Sir E. Bui.ler and Mr. O'Eeilly complained of a morning paper having 
published an incorrect and unauthorised copy of an address agreed to at the 
aggregate meeting, to be presented to his Majesty. 

44 Mj?. O'Coxxell defended the publication. The supposition that there was 
any irregularity in printing such documents before they were presented to those 
for whom they were destined, was quite erroneous. The rule applied only to 
petitions to parliament, because the legislature would not receive printed peti- 
tions." 

At length the gentlemen who started and supported this captious crotchet having talked 
themselves out, ilr. 0"Connell was at last permitted to take his great step. 

"Mr. O'Cois^vELL proposed that an Association should then be formed of 
such gentlemen as wished voluntarily to come forward, for the purpose of con- 
ducting the affairs of the Irish. Catholics, relative to their political disabilities, 
and the means of having their grievances brought before parliament ; and that 
the qualifications necessary for becoming a member should be the annual sub- 
scription of one guinea. 

"Mr. Hugh O'Connor conceived it would be more advantageous that the 
subscription should be hec guineas. 

44 That being, however, objected to, Mr. O'Connor consented to the original 
motion, which passed unanimously , and above fifty gentlemen subscribed their 
names, and paid instanter. 

" Upon the motion of Mr. O'Coxnell, it was agreed to hold the future meet- 
ings of the Association at Mr. Coyne's, jSTo. 4, Capel-street. 

" It was then resolved that it should be styled — 

t4 TIIE IRISH CATHOLIC ASSOCIATION. 
After which, an adjournment took place to this day, Tuesday." 

The details of his plan, with regard to associated members, he did not at that time bring 
forward, seeing the difficulties that met him with even the first and plainest steps. We 
shall presently have to show under what circumstances of opposition and difficulty he 
did at last disclose and establish it. 

Upon Tuesday, the 13th of May, the newly-organised body re-assembled ; meeting this 
day and thenceforward at Coyne's, the Catholic bookseller, No. 4, Capel-street -Lord Kil- 
leen in the chair. 

A committee of regulation was appointed, to report upon Thursday. 

A deputation was also appointed to wait upon his majesty, with the address agreed to at 
the aggregate meeting. It was arranged to consist of the Earl of Fingal, Catholic peers, 
sons of peers, two gentlemen from each county, and as many others as chose to attend. 

The adjournment this day was to the following Saturday, when several new memberi 
were admitted, and some other minor business transacted. 

Tuesday the 20th was the first day that anything of a regular debate occurred. On that 
day the Association met by a special requisition — Joseph M'Donnell, Esq., in the chair. 



Mr. O'Conxell rose and stated, that as he was the principal 
person who procured the requisition for calling this meeting, he 



206 SELECT SPEECHES OP 

thought it incumbent on him to state the object oil the requisi- 
tionists. 

Previous to the passing of the act providing for the appoint- 
ment of a Catholic chaplain to the gaol of Newgate, the duty of 
that office had been performed gratuitously for a century, and 
there was no complaint of the want of spiritual assistance for the 
instruction or consolation of the prisoners. In former times the 
Catholic clergyman visited the gaol with the concurrence of the 
grand jury, because he had nothing to receive for his trouble ; 
but latterly, when the public were to be at the expense of a 
Catholic chaplain, none would be tolerated but those who 
grounded their claim to the appointment from want of capacity, 
moral character, or a renunciation of the principles of the Ca- 
tholic religion. 

The first appointment made by the grand jury was that of the 
late respectable and learned Dr. Murphy, because they knew he 
would not serve the office. The next was that of a Spanish priest, 
totally unacquainted with the English or Irish languages. After 
him a madman was nominated. Then Mr. Crotty was appointed 
— a parish priest residing in Limerick, who, the late Mr. GifFard 
said, could attend to his duty by coming up in the mail, when 
a wretched convict required his assistance to prepare for meet- 
ing his Maker. Had the grand jury appointed a blind man to 
teach the prisoners to read, or a fiddler for a physician, they 
would not be more ludicrous than those he had already men- 
tioned. 

Their last appointment evinced an equal anxiety for the reli- 
gion and morals of the prisoners, by nominating a person named 
Morrissy ; as a reward for his permitting his name to appear to 
a couple of pamphlets which he never wrote, abusing, in terms 
peculiarly gross, the Catholic religion. 

But the mischief is not confined to forcing upon the prisoners 
improper clerical characters, or in the misapplication of the sa- 
lary intended by government and the public as a reward for the 
pious exertions of a properly qualified chaplain, but the inmates 
of Newgate are actually deprived of the services of worthy and 
correct clergymen, who are either denied admittance in the gaol, 
or quite excluded from the room where divine service is performed. 
Now for such a monstrous abuse of grand jury functions, the 
Catholics had no remedy. The Court of King's Bench had been 
applied to repeatedly, but the judges were of opinion they could 
not interfere, as the appointment was, by the act of 1811, vested 
in the term grand jury. 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



207 



The only redress they could expect must come from parlia- 
ment, and at this moment he (Mr. O'Connell) thought it would 
bfc advisable to lay before the legislature a petition from the 
prisoners of Newgate, who complained of the want of spiritual 
instruction, representing to the House of Commons the gross 
misconduct of the grand jury, and their bigoted and shameless 
interference to defeat the kind and benevolent intention of the 
legislature;. This circumstance alone would speak volumes as 
to the spirit in which the laws, wherever the Catholics are con- 
cerned, are administered by the Corporation of Dublin, and 
their officers, who studiously exclude from term grand juries, 
Catholic gentlemen, though eligible for the last thirty years. 

It is (said the learned gentleman) a melancholy and sick- 
ening reflection, that men filling respectable stations in society, 
can be so filled with the spirit of bigotry, intolerance, and injus- 
tice, as to appropriate the public money to the purpose of en* 
couraging, prolonging, and gratifying malignant party feeling. 

Mr. O'Connell concluded by moving — That a committee be 
appointed to prepare separate petitions to parliament, for the 
prisoners in Newgate and the Sheriff's Prison, who felt aggrieved 
by the appointment of the present Catholic chaplain. 

" Eneas M'Donnell objected to the point of form as to the shortness of 
notice of the meeting — and also objected that the association was yet not suffi- 
ciently organized to occupy itself with a matter of such deep importance. 

" Nicholas Mahon supported him. 

Mr. O'Connell saw no reason why the consideration of the 
question should be adjourned, when there were so many induce- 
ments, and such cause for an immediate application to parlia- 
ment. 

The present was a moment, when for the first time the atten- 
tion of the legislature was called to those tangible facts that 
would enable it to form a judgment of the abuse and corrup- 
tion of the Dublin jury system, under which the public money 
is misapplied, and the Catholic people deprived even of the 
rights given them by the existing laws. The object of the asso- 
ciation was not to force on parliament the annual farce, or more 
properly, a triennial interlude of a debate on the Catholic claims. 

Their purpose was with practical and not abstract questions — 
to shame the advocates of an unwise system, and, by exposing 
its corruption in all its branches, show that it worked badly and 
impracticably for the country ; and he trusted they should have 
j the assistance of men of every religious creed in melting down 
sectarian acrimony into a community of Irish feeling. There 



208 



SELECT SPEECHES Otf 



were many grievances under which the poor and unprotected 
Catholic peasant smarted, that would not admit of waiting foi 
redress until the day of emancipation arrived, and which might 
be made the subject of separate applications to parliament and 
the laws. 

Such were the objects of the association, and he thought the 
particular subject now under their consideration was legiti- 
mately within this province. 

The many serious and grinding impositions to which the 
Catholics were subject, and among others, that of Church-rates 
— this was a grievance that would come within the objects of 
the association : for it was not to be expected that the poor and 
illiterate men would have recourse to traversing a presentment, 
however well grounded their objections might be, as in the case 
of a parish in the county of Westmeath, where £700 was granted 
for building a church, and, afterwards, £200 levied upon the 
parish for the same purpose, and no church yet built, although 
another levy of £200 is about to be made. He should, there- 
fore, persevere in pressing the original resolution. 

" Mr. Flanagan supported Mr. O'Connell's motion, and observed, that the 
duty of the association was not only to obtain the rights that were withheld 
fiorn the Catholics by the penal laws, but to preserve those which they actually 
possessed. 

" Some other gentlemen having supported "Mr. O'Connell's motion, it was at 
last put, and carried with unanimity. 



" SATURDAY, 2'4th MAY 
" Sir Edward Bellew in the Chair 

" Mr. Scanlan reported from the committee of regulation, and read to the 
meeting so far as the committee had gone in preparing the rules for their pro- 
ceedings. 

" Those of importance were — ' That the association be formed for the purpose 
of procuring, by every legal means, Catholic Emancipation ; that the society con- 
sist of such individuals as pay the annual subscription of one guinea, and that 
the association will not exercise nor accept of any delegated authority or quality 
whatsoever ; that no Catholic be permitted as a spectator of the proceedings at 
the meetings of the association, unless he become a subscriber. That persons of 
every other religious persuasion shall have permission to be present during the 
proceedings, but not to vote or speak upon any question, unless he be a sub- 
scriber. That every accommodation be afforded to the press. 

" Mr. Eneas M'Donnell and Mr. O'Reilly were of opinion that Catho- 
lics should have the same right of being present as spectators with those of their 
dissenting brethren. 



DANIEL OCONNELL, ESQ., M.f. 



20b 



"Mr, O'Connell objected to this compliment to Catholics, who "would, he 
considered, be unworthy of it it they did not take a guinea's worth of interest in 
the Catholic cause. 

"Mr. Eneas M'Doxnell, Mr. Laxnigan, and Mr. O'Reilly contended 
against Protestants having a deliberate voice in the proceedings of their associa- 
tion, f rom their inability to form a disinterested opinion upon Catholic Emanci- 
pation, and the apprehension of persons inimical to their cause insinuating them- 
selves into the meeting. 

" Mr, 'Cornell, in reply, observed, that it was by and from Protestants 
they were to receive their emancipation, and, consequently, no one more capable 
of discussing and advising the means for obtaining than a Protestant ; and as 
to the intrusion of improper characters, there was little apprehension of Orange- 
men nocking in with guineas to mar their proceedings. 

"Mr.N. Mahgx supported Mr. O'Connell's view of the question, which, 
upon being put, was carried by a large majority. 

" Mr. O 'Cornell gave notice of a motion to consider the propriety of peti- 
tioning parliament against the church-rates, as paid by Catholics." 



On the next day of meeting, the following Tuesday, Mr. O'Connell bronght forward addi- 
tional rules. We are particular in giving all these details of arrangement, as the plan and 
system of the Catholic Association have been that of all the associations since created : — 

M That no question should be entertained by the meeting, or amendment put 
5y the chairman, unless the same was stated in writing. 

" That no member be allowed to speak twice to any question, unless the 
Jiover, who shall have the right of reply. 

" That the object of the foregoing resolutions is to prevent, as much as pos- 
sible, any debate or discussion but what may be absolutely necessary to ascer- 
tain the sense of each meeting. 

" That the rules and laws of the association be posted up in the room, and 
also be entered in a book to be kept for that purpose." 

The first ** no house* of the new body occurred on the 31st of May, when at half-past 
three o'clock, ten members not being present, w the house adjourned,'' according to one of 
their recently adopted rules. 

This regulation was soon afterwards made use of to thwart Mr. O'Connell, and increase 
the difficulties in the way of his plans, for working the cause with the new organization. 
We shall have to come to this speedily. 

On the 8th of June, Mr. O'Connell redeemed his notice relative to the " administration 
of justice and church rates.'" 

After some preliminary business, in particular the reading of letters respecting the 
address to the king, from several of the parties appointed to go with it, craving an exten- 
sion of time, the business of the day was called on : — 

Mr. O'Coxnell then rose. He had given notice of two mo- 
tions (the administration of justice, and justice in Ireland and the 
Church-rates), and he was at liberty to give precedence to which 
he pleased, he should, therefore, move on the administration of 
justice. 

He congratulated the Catholics upon their unanimity of feel- 
ing, and hailed as a good omen for the cause, the establishment 
of a Catholic association in London ; not for the absurd purpose 
vol. jl o 



no 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



of discussing mere routine matter, but in order to wrestle wit! 
tneir grievances and oppressions boldly and effectually. As thei: 
English brethren had imitated them in the formation of the as 
sociation, so he hoped the Irish would take example by them ii 
adopting any of their regulations which might be thought advan- 
tageous ; such, for instance, as admitting the Catholic clergymen 
to become members of the association without payment of a 
subscription. 

In reference to the subject matter immediately before the as- 
sociation, he would refer to the speech of Mr. Hugh O'Connor, 
at the late aggregate meeting, to prove its mighty importance, 
The observations made by that gentleman, and the manner in 
which they were received by the assembly, afforded incontrover- 
tible evidence of their truth and application. For many years 
he (Mr. O'Connell) had been complimented by too kind friends, 
as the most animated speaker of the Catholic body ; but even 
were the fact as they would have persuaded him, in his life he 
never could have made so energetic a speech as that of Mr. 
O'Connor's. But why was it energetic 1 Because its force arose 
from its truth ; because it portrayed, faithfully and strongly, 
the grinding evils with which the Catholics are aggrieved by the 
existing system of the administration of justice in Ireland ; evils 
which no individual power could control, no judicial authority 
remedy, however well disposed to do so. 

The course of proceeding best adapted to the interests of the 
Catholics, required the serious consideration of the association. 
Three presented themselves for their adoption. 

First — that of confining themselves to the old practice of an 
annual petition to parliament, and to the association having its 
way, but taking such previous measures as might be best calcu- 
lated to ensure its success. 

Secondly — that of detaching particulars of the most operative 
grievances from the general and disgusting catalogue, and expos- 
ing them to the British empire and the world. 

Thirdly — that of endeavouring to bring the Catholics to act 
with the reformers of England. 

In fact, he was desirous of testing the Catholics once more, 
and seeing whether there were any ground for the accusation that 
seemed to be taken as an admitted and proved charge against 
them — that the iron had so entered into their souls as to make 
them averse to any, the most moderate self-exertion, and inclined 
to submit tamely to their evils, and timidly and basely to allow 
the Orangemen to trample upon and lord it over them — to revel 



LANIEL o'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P.» 



211 



unchecked and unopposed in all the license of triumphant tyranny, 
bigotry, persecution, and the demoniac spirit of rapine and out- 
rage ! 

Could it be said he used these strong terms without need ; it 
was not a fancied sketch, but a picture of fearful realities ; that 
of which the disgusting outline was so wantonly and so recklessly 
exhibited at the theatre on Wednesday night last. That place 
which was generally considered to be the temple of classic enter- 
tainment, and of refined and cultivated amusement ; the haunt of 
the graces, and the scene of social enjoyment, was converted into 
a bear-garden, where the ferocious Orangeman taunted his quies- 
cent Catholic neighbour, by insultingly displaying the insignia 
of past victory, and anticipated triumph ! 

Yes, triumph ; for has not their grand master been permitted 
to triumph over the imperial authority of the Commons of Eng- 
land ? has he not been permitted insolently to refuse telling the 
great legislative assembly of the nation, when they demanded it 
of him, what was the watch- word by which they hallooed each 
other on to the work of destruction 'i 

The most calm and deliberate conviction of his (Mr. O'Con- 
nell's) mind was, that there must be something in their token of 
recognition too horrible to be utterred ; and therefore it was, and 
therefore it could only be, that the legislature was suffered to be 
degraded — its high privileges to be contemned, and that autho- 
rity which it has been so zealous to maintain, as to commit its own 
members for breaches that were but as pismires to elephants, 
when compared with the contumacy of the grand Orange martyr, 
Abraham Bradley King, Baronet and government printer; set at 
defiance with impunity. That there was some adequate cause 
for the unheard-of proceeding, it would be idle to doubt. G overn- 
ment knew why they permitted the authority of parliament to 
sink into utter ridicule ; they were not so insensible to public 
censure as to declare that they had unwittingly fostered a system, 
whose object is now to root out of the land of their fathers, seven 
millions of people. (Cheers.) 

What but the protection of that government (that government 
which Catholics pay and support), could have inspired the con- 
fidence to concert a project so insane, yet so horrible, that neu- 
trality is now become a crime, and every Protestant not an 
Orangeman must sink his individual interest, and coalesce with 
the Catholic in extinguishing a faction whose purpose was so 
monstrous, and whose existence occasioned such misfortunes and 
misery to Ireland. They could already count some Protestants 



212 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



among the association, and so late as the day before, a highly 
respectable one, Mr. Prossur, gave him his guinea, in order to 
become a member. 

It would, he conceived, be the greatest absurdity, were they 
to continue the holiday farce of annually petitioning for gene- 
ral emancipation ; it had become a mockery so repugnant to 
common sense, that it could not now obtain even that annual 
discussion which had heretofore paralysed the exertions of the 
Catholics, producing no result, save to have their hopes adjourned, 
and the creation of disunion amongst themselves. In bringing 
forward the abstract question, particular grievances were lost 
sight ofj their best friends were confounded and confused, and a 
general misunderstanding was abroad upon the subject of their 
disabilities. They saw the Edinburgh Review repeat over and 
over, that there are but five-and-twenty offices from which Ca- 
tholics were excluded. He (Mr. O'Connell) would defy the research 
of the reviewer to point out five-and-twenty Catholics who enjoyed 
the places to which it supposed them eligible. By bringing the 
peculiar grievances immediately under the notice of the legislature, 
they enlisted those who were particularly afflicted, and secured 
their exertions. 

Why, for instance, should they hesitate to bring such a subject 
as that of Church-rates before the house, by a peculiar petition ; 
that shameless imposition, whereby Catholics were called upon 
to pay for repairs of churches that did not exist, and contribute 
to the erection of churches which are never built — as in the case 
of the parish of Westmeath, where, after .£2000 had been granted 
in the first instance, and afterwards several considerable sums 
levied off the parish, the foundation stone was not yet laid, and 
they were called on again for another levy of £800 ! Why should 
the wretched, naked, persecuted peasant be forced to contribute 
to this system ] 

He was aware that there was a number of Catholics who 
cherished a lingering expectation that the present government, 
from the known and general feeling of the House of Commons, 
would voluntarily come forward and administer the only remedy 
for the salvation of Ireland. Oh ! these honest, unsuspecting, 
confiding, but miscalculating politicians ! Little were they 
versed in the wily tactics, the perfidious duplicity, the unprin- 
cipled dishonesty of professional statesmen, who, however they 
may apparently differ on matters of policy, are always sure tc 
pull together when there is a scramble for places and pensions ! 
Could any man who was not the willing dupe of a perverted 



*-aNH£L o'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



imagination, deceive himself by hoping for any good from such 
an administration 1 

When he exclaimed against the administration of justice, he 
should be wanting in sincerity, and, indeed, in common honesty, 
did he not declare, without dreading an imputation of syco- 
phancy, that Ireland possessed some judges who, with a proud I 
satisfaction, he could hold up to the world as bright examples of 
learning and honesty. There was the entire Court of King's 
Bench, such as he never expected to have seen in this unfortu- 
nate country. There were also some virtuous and learned judges 
in the other courts ; he regretted he could not extend the ap- 
probation to all the judges ; but that which was the more imme- 
diate subject for their consideration was the construction of 
juries. 

Over this grievance the judges had no control ; there was no 
remedy ; it was a part of that system of Orange sheriffs, with 
Orange panels in their pockets. When that appalling fact had 
been heard from sources which could not be doubted, were they 
not warranted in asserting that there was no security against th( 
injustice of Orange intolerance — now become triumphant from 
ministers having given them up the country, in order, as it was 
alleged, to give no triumph to either party ! 

Did ministers expect to screen their pusillanimity by affecting 
not to favour Catholics at the expense of offending Orangemen '] 
The pretext was unworthy the character of the statesman who 
assumed it. Could they affect to delude any man of any party, 
into a belief that the struggle was not between the govern- 
ment of the Marquis of Wellesley and Mr. Plunket on the one 
hand, and the Orange party on the other ; and that the Catholics 
were more involved in the late struggle, than any other portion of 
his majesty's subjects who were not Orangemen, and who felt an 
interest in the preservation of the British constitution ? In his 
(Mr. O'Connell's) opinion, there never was a ministry calculated 
to effect such mischief to the empire as the present ; by having 
amongst them a few persons whose reputation and character 
secured to them a certain degree of public confidence, they were 
enabled to effect those insidious disgraceful manoeuvres in which 
they were at last out-generalled and obliged to succumb to the 
Orangemen, under the specious terms of not giving a triumph to 
either party ; and how were they still further humbled, for, after 
the capitulation, the Orange conquerors boast of their triumph 
by proclaiming an accession of 20,000 to their number. 

The learned gentleman concluded with assuring the meeting, 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



that among the few chances that remained for their obtaining 
emancipation, one of the only chances was to join heartily the 
reformers (hear, hear) in endeavouring to procure a change in 
that system, by which the great borough-mongering families were 
able to influence the returning of members for rotten boroughs, 
and thus perpetuate that oppression and misrule under which the 
country had so long groaned. 

He was, however, aware that the Catholics were not yet pre- 
pared for that step, and he should for the present move for the 
appointment of a committee of eleven to petition parliament for 
the administration of justice in Ireland. 

Mr. O'Oonnell then moved, that the petition for the adminis- 
tration of justice in Ireland, should be confided to Mr. Brougham, 
(Carried unanimously.) 

He then gave notice for an address to the Catholic people of 
Ireland, warning them against secret societies ; he would willingly 
take charge of Mr. Lawless' motion, which was for the adoption 
of a petition to the Lord Lieutenant, praying his excellency to 
prevent any Orange display which might cause a reaction of the 
Eibbonmen. 

In reply to an observation of Sir John Burke — 

Mr. O'Connell observed, that he had not applied any obser- 
vation to the private character of the chancellor, nor did he speak 
of him in his judicial capacity. 

He spoke of him in his character as a statesman ; he said he 
courted the vapid applause of an eating club, where one of the 
toasts went, by inference, to include the Marquis of Welles- 
ley among the exports of Ireland. It was for his conduct as a 
statesman that he had arraigned and would arraign him, until 
he should see the propitious day when he (the chancellor) should 
himself become an export from Ireland. 

We jump for a moment from politics to law, to return to the former immediately. Such 
a course is not unsuited to a sketch of Mr. O'Connell's life, the habit of which for so many 
years it resembles ; those years, when almost the only recreation he knew, was by a change 
from one engrossing occupation to another— from the Four Courts to the Association meet- 
ing—from thence to his study, to prepare for the courts again. 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



215 



CRIMINAL INFORMATION. 

The King at the Prosecution of Michael O'Connor, Cleric, v. 
Joseph Timothy Hayden and William Glynn, Proprietors of 
the Public Newspaper called " The Dublin Evening Mail" 

Ik the King's Bench, June 14th, 1823. 

Mr. O'Connell (upon the same side as Mr. Goold) submitted 
to the court, that the subject before them necessarily resolved 
itself into three branches. 

" First, whether the publication was libellous. 

11 Secondly, whether the persons libelled be such as are entitled to make their 
complaint as a public body ; and, 

"Thirdly, whether the conduct of the professional persons concerned for 
them, in directing the prosecution, has been irregular, and must be vLsited upon 
the aggrieved persons prosecuting.'' 

* * * * **■.*-'* 

The court in deciding the first position, were called upon to 
determine whether the encouraging of midnight assassination 
and atrocities of the most appalling nature, and in the worst 
shapes, were crimes, as it was for the encouragement of such of- 
fences that the Catholic clergy were accused in the libel, not 
under the guise of impartial discussion, but by a direct accusa- 
tion ; not weighing the probability of the charge, but convicting 
at once, and calling upon the public vengeance ; for if any man 
believed the charge, must he not feel exasperated, and would he 
not be bound to exert himself by all legal means, and procure 
the punishment of wretches base enough to disgrace their reli- 
gion and their calling, by the conduct here imputed to them. 

Did not such a charge go to a direct encouragement of the 
lamented atrocities, by tending to occasion a relaxation of the 
exertions of the Catholic clergy, when they found their inter- 
ference and their communication with the peasantry so maligned 
and misrepresented ; and was he to be told, that for fear of agi- 
tation, the calumniator who works such mischief, should not be 
prosecuted ; that the priest was to suffer, and not his cUlumniaior. 

The learned counsel, after commenting very forcibly, but tem- 
perately, upon the nature and tendency of the libel, went on to 
*rgue, whether the Catholic clergy were a body of men entitled 
-ro call upon the court for its protection from such calumny. 

That was a question, he said, of mere law, and would be more 
properly argued when the case was before a jury, or upon arrest 
of judgment. The Catholic clergy, he argued, were recognised 



216 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



and regulated by acts of parliament ; they were liable to certain 
oaths in their ministerial capacity, binding them to the consti- 
tution, as well by gratitude for its provision, as by duty for its 
protection. The Durham case, he conceived, to be conclusive 
upon their right of appeal as a public body, for in the rule granted 
in that case, there was no use of the word established clergy of 
Durham, as relied on by Mr. Johnson. The rule could not apply 
to the establislied clergy alone, for no term was more indefinite 
or undefined, than the established clergy. 

After arguing at much length upon this point, the learned 
counsel proceeded to the third— that of the conduct of the pro- 
secutor having dealt unfairly, and disentitling himself to the 
information. He then read an affidavit stating, that he (Mr. 
O'Connell) wrote a letter upon the 1st of May to the defendants, 
informing them that it was intended to take proceedings against 
them for the publication of the libel upon the Catholic clergy, 
but that if they without delay gave up the author, and acknow- 
ledged the proprietorship and publication in one of the southern 
counties where the paper circulated, and where the circumstances 
were best known, that the proceedings against them would be 
relinquished. 

Upon the 4th of May, Mr. Hayden, one of the defendants, 
waited upon him (Mr. O'Connell), and prayed time until Mr. 
Cooper, the author, returned from the country ; that it was 
granted to him, and upon the 7th, Mr. Cooper wrote to Mr. 
O'Connell, acknowledging his readiness to stand in the place of 
the proprietors, but refused to acknowledge the publication in 
Kerry or any of the southern counties, and that through this in- 
genuity, the time was got over until the 17th of May, when it 
was too late to file an information, so as to have the trial in the 
next assizes, and that the author not having "complied with the 
terms of his (Mr. O'Connell's) letter, he was at liberty to proceed 
as he had first intimated. 

That his object in having the trial in some of the southern 
counties was, that those Protestant gentlemen to whom the con- 
duct of the clergy was best known, might have an opportunity 
of proving and deciding on it. If the defendants had not the 
gratitude to thank him (Mr. O'Connell) for the liberal and candid 
communication made to them in the first instance, and the in- 
dulgence granted them subsequently, they should, at least, have 
abstained from charging the prosecutor with unfairness and 
misconduct, because he would not receive the author in place of 
the printer, on his ( the author J own conditions. 



JJAMEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P 



217 



CHURCH KATES. 

The transitions we have recently spoken of from politics to law, and law to politics, 
which so quickly succeeded eacn other in the everyday current of Mr. O'Connell's existence, 
are well exemplified at this stage of oar sketch, when we have to give a political speech of 
his upon the same day that he made the law argument which we have last inserted. 

It was at a meeting of the association, relative to Church-rates. 

Mr. O'Connell rose to move upon his notice respecting 
Church-rates. 

There was, he said, no grievance which afflicted the peasantry 
more than the present mode of levying church-rates. 

In the country the hardship of the system was intolerable, 
and pressed with a severity that made it no longer possible to 
submit in silence. The plan of assessment was equally arbitrary 
as inconsistent ; as long as the levy was made for occasions which 
might not come immediately within the statute, but which were 
all reasonable, there was no complaint on the part of the people ; 
but when the magnitude of the demands rendered compliance 
no longer possible, and that recourse was had to the remedy of 
seizing upon the little all of the impoverished peasant, then re- 
monstrance forced itself from the still reluctant complainant. 

Up to the reign of Henry the Eighth, the great burden of 
repairing and building churches fell upon the clergy, as also the 
support of the poor from the Church revenues, and so continued 
until the confiscation of Church property in England. It occur- 
red in a few particular instances in Ireland, that special parlia- 
mentary grants were made for the building of churches ; but 
this never occurred but from some peculiar circumstances, such 
as to rait the alterations of modern residence, or change the site 
of the church from inconvenience of situation, and this was not 
on more than five occasions up to George the Second. In Ireland, 
Church property, at the Reformation, was not confiscated to the 
same extent as in England, because the country adhered to the 
original faith, and the provision for building churches from 
Church revenues remained in force. 

The first date from which Catholics can count the origin of 
their peculiar hardship in the management of church-rates, was 
the 12th George I., when they were for the first time rendered 
ineligible to vote at vegtry meetings upon the subject of building 
I or repairing churches, and the statute remains in force to this 
I day ; but on this point considerable mistake prevailed, for the 
i ; ntolerants would have it, that by the provision of that act, 



218 



SELECT SPEECHES OP 



Catholics were excluded altogether from vestries, whereas they 
were not prevented from delivering their opinions, or taking 
part in the discussion upon building of churches, but only from 
voting upon the question ; and that statute of the twenty-fifth 
of the late king, was further accompanied by the particular 
grievance, that though they might vote for parish cess, they 
eould not vote for churchwardens, though they themselves 
were rendered eligible, and could be compelled to serve the 
office. 

In the 3rd George II., how glaringly intolerant, persecuting, 
and bigoted was the provision rendering Catholic churchwardens 
personally responsible for the amount of the whole parish cess ; 
it was found useful, when the parish was composed of poor Ca- 
tholic parishioners, to single out a Catholic of substance, and 
make him pay, by privation, too, of himself, for the poverty of 
his fellow-sufferers. Surely, Catholics were the most unfit peo- 
ple in the world for the office of churchwarden, part of whose 
duty was to keep order during the service, and to procure the 
elements for the sacrament. Now he (Mr. O'Connell) would re- 
mark, that the Catholic churchwarden's attendance at the ser- 
vice of his own religion might clash with his assisting at that of 
another, even were there no other impeding cause ; and from 
the opportunity this law afforded to harass and annoy a re- 
spectable Catholic in the country, it was incumbent upon the 
association to seek its repeal. 

The peculiar grievance of the statute was, however, more sen- 
sibly felt in the strange and numerous jobs that were effected 
under its provisions ; the moment a Catholic rose to object to 
such proceedings, he was immediately silenced by changing to, 
or introducing the subject of church repairs, or church building, 
and told he had no privilege to vote upon such a question. 

From among the numerous instances of misapplication under 
this act, he could mention one that had been verified by affida- 
vit before the Chancellor and the Court of King's Bench, and 
which to this day remains uncontradicted. In the town of 
Mullingar, it was determined to pull down the old church, and 
arect a new one ; and it was the general calculation, that with 
the materials of the old, and about one thousand pounds, a new 
one could be built : and, accordingly, in 1813, an assessment 
was made of ninepence per acre, which produced the sum of 
£360 ; in the year 1814, another levy of one shilling and nine- 
pence per acre, which produced the sum of £860, making with 
the former a total of £1220, which the parishioners thought was 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



219 



quite sufficient for the purpose with the old materials ; but 
no, for in the following year another levy of £300 was made; 
there was then in hands £1520, and by way of managing that 
sum with prudence, instead of building the church by contract, 
they very economically engaged to erect it by the day's work, and 
appoint an inspector of labourers at the salary of £200 per annum 
out of the pockets of the parishioners. 

Finding the taxing trade went on so well, in the following 
year, 1817, another assessment of Is. 6d. per aero was ordered. 
From this was received a sum of £7 40 ; but still they were not 
satisfied ; for in 1818, the sum of £7 40 more was levied. Well, 
one would have thought that by this time there was no decent 
pretence for any further levy ; but no such thing. In the year 
1819, another sum of £740 was levied, and they had then an 
amount of £3,7 40. Still rapacity kept pace with the success- 
ful levies, and in 1820 a further sum of £1,800 was demanded, 
being an assessment of 3s. lid. per acre. The clergyman, it 
was alleged, lost £400 in speculating on timber ; and poor 
Dibbs, the parish clerk, having a shell of a cabin that stood in 
the way of the new church, it was found necessary to induce him 
to submit to its removal by presenting him with £200 in lieu. 

The frequency and amount of those levies became at length 
so alarming, that a gentleman having a few acres of land found 
himself, in 1820, called upon, in addition to all the former levies, 
to pay the sum of £10. He refused; and, under the 45th of 
the late King, he was immediately distrained for his audacity. 
He was not, however, so passively inclined, and he issued a re- 
plevin. An application was made to the King's Bench, and 
afterwards to the Chancellor, to quash the replevin. The mat- 
ter was decided for the traverser by the King's Bench, and the 
Chancellor refused the application of the minister with costs. 
Then the party got rid of the grievance, because he was spirited, 
and in circumstances enabling him to contend with extortion. 
But how many similar exactions took place every day, and no- 
thing was heard of it, because of the poverty and ignorance of the 
sufferers. In the county of Louth, there was a case of still more 
flagrant injustice than the one already mentioned. 

The people of England might well be astonished (and who 
was there but should be so V) at the enormous offences commit- 
ted in this ill-fated country : but their astonishment would be 
still greater, if they knew all the causes of irritation — and to 
which he (Mr, O'Connell) rejoiced they were strangers — produc- 
ing those offences. However, he congratulated the country that 



220 



SELECT SPEECHES OP 



a decline of crime had already taken place, within these few 
weeks, since the establishment of the Catholic Association : and he 
trusted that, in a few weeks more, the advice and good counsel of 
the Association, in holding out the expectation that there is yet a 
chance of constitutional liberty, and that as heretofore, no flatter- 
ing voice of consolation had reached the desponding peasantry — 
they should now learn that there are men resolved to expose their 
grievances ; to exhibit to the feeling and generous hearts of the 
British people their long sufferings and accumulated wrongs \ 
and that a paternal and gracious monarch, with a patriotic and 
benign viceroy, sympathised in their misfortunes, and were anx- 
ious to alleviate them. 

Such were the means by which, he trusted, the Association 
would succeed in subduing outrage, and proving their genuine 
loyalty to the constitution, and their admiration of the Marquis 
of Wellesley's government. 

The eloquent gentleman then went into detail of the erroneous 
remedies that had been applied by the legislature for the sup- 
pression of disturbances in this country. He instanced the ab- 
surdity and inconsistency, at a time when the national distress 
was at its height, of affording additional facilities to landlords to 
distress their tenantry, as in the Ejectment Act of 1811, enabling 
him to seize upon the growing crops; — and when there were several 
landlords between the occupier and the owner of the estate, who, 
if they quarrelled among themselves, had no other mode of re- 
venge than oppressing the innocent tenant, by seizing upon him, 
in order to vex his immediate landlord. Then there was the 
Police Magistrate's Act, enabling him to issue his warrant for 
church-rate and tithe, and the power of summary ejectment for 
non-payment of rent. 

He cited several other hardships, and observed that the na- 
tional distress appeared to have had an unnatural and inconsis- 
tent effect upon the reasoning faculties of legislators ; for as dis- 
tress increased, their principle was to augment the arbitrary, 
irritating, and oppressive enactments, and the consequence was 
such as we had the misfortune to witness. 

Mr. O'Conneil moved that a committee of eleven be appointed 
to prepare a petition to parliament on church-rates. 

44 This was agreed to. 

" Mr. Shiel then brought forward a petition relative to the administration of 
juetice in Ireland, which was read and adopted. After which — 

Mr. O'Connell took the opportunity of impressing upon the 
Catholics of Dublin that their supineness was inexcusable, in ne- 



DANIEL 0*CONNELL, ESQ., M.P 



£21 



glecting to preserve the rights to which they are by law entitled: 
By a culpable passivene33, they sacrificed their own and their 
brethren's privileges to the freedom of the city of Dublin, to 
which they were eligible for the last thirty years. 

Some few year3 since, he (Mr. O'Connell) undertook, at his 
own expense, to obtain for a man named Cole the civic rights to 
which he was entitled, as having served hi3 time to a. freeman, 
but when he had gone through all the forms, and completely 
succeeded, the poor man died; and the Hibernian Journal an- 
nounced the event by stating that GOD had miraculously saved 

the CORPORATION PROM THE CONTAMINATION of a PAPIST ! 

He had, however, since found another Catholic entitled to his 
freedom ; and as he was not in circumstances sufficient to ena- 
ble him to contend for it, he conceived the Association should 
come forward and give their assistance. The Catholics should 
not neglect to enrol their indentures, as doing so saved a consi- 
derable expense. 

" Upon the 19 th of June, Mr. Lawless moved in the Association, for ap- 
pointment of a committee to prepare a petition to the Lord Lieutenant, praying 
he would interpose his authority to prevent, on the 12th of July next x public 
processions of political associations in the country part3 of Ireland. 

Mr. O'Connell, in seconding the motion, was anxious to have 
it understood that not the slightest notion prevailed of his Ex- 
cellency being unmindful of his own duty with regard to what 
was necessary to be done for preserving the public peace, or that 
any want of confidence existed in his Excellency's desire or in- 
tention to prevent the sanguinary waste of human life which 
usually follows the illegal processions of Orange societies. 

If the Marquis Wellesley were the only Lord Lieutenant 
whom they addressed upon the subject, it was because they had 
no hope from any other. It was an act of the plainest justice 
to the Catholics to acquaint the government how Orange irrita- 
tion was met by Catholic conciliation ; how the public peace 
wa3 endangered, and innocent blood shed by the processions of 
licentious and infuriated rabble. No disturbance was ever occa- 
sioned by the Catholics. 

Here Mr. O'Connell instanced the readiness of the Catholics 
to promote peace, by stating that in the north the Ribbonmen 
were accustomed to have a procession on Patrick's day, by way 
of a set-off against other displays ; but in consequence of an 
able and patriotic address from one who exercised his talents 
with true Irish feeling (Air. Lawless), calling upon them to forego 
their procession, they unanimously desisted from the annual 



222 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



procession on the last celebration of St. Patrick's day. In re- 
turn, their enemies are making every exertion to promote the 
offensive display on the approaching anniversary, not only where 
they have heretofore existed, bnt in places yet free from them. 
He had heard it was intended to have Orange processions in 
Tipperary, Yonghal, and the city of Cork ; and he therefore 
thought it would be quite right to show the Lord Lieutenant 
that Orangemen would follow no advice nor example for the 
peace of the country ; but could only be controlled by the inter- 
ference Of government. 

The meeting of Saturday, the 5th of J uly , afforded a very fair specimen of the increasing 
tusiness of the new Association. A number of members spoke on various subjects ; and 
' Mr. 0' Conn ell, in particular, had to speak three times— the weight of the work, as usual, 
falling upon his willing shoulders. 

Mr. O'Gorman made a long speech, complaining of misrepresentation in parliament of 
former declarations of his. Several gentlemen spoke to the same subject, after which 

Mr. O'Connell inquired if the secretary had received any 
communication from Earl Grey, respecting their petition to the 
House of Lords on the administration of justice in Ireland. 
Should his lordship determine on presenting it, he would take 
care the same objections should not apply to it as were made in 
the other House ; for he would supply abundance of facts to 
prove the undue administration of justice, as regarded the Ca- 
tholics. 

There was, he regretted, a great misapprehension as to the 
petition not having been signed by men of large properties, or of 
weight and influence ; and he could state, for the information 
of the honourable gentlemen who so remarked upon the petition 
as was reported in the newspapers, that there were many, very 
many men signed to that petition, of greater landed property 
than either of the honourable members, Mr. James Daly and 
Mr. Richard Martin ; and, still more, that they had themselves 
the sole control over their own estates. 

As to men of other descriptions of property, there were the 
signatures of some of the most respectable merchants attached 
to the petition ; men worth from £80,000 and upwards, that in 
Ireland was considered a respectable property. It is true the 
petition was signed and sent off in so great a hurry that it was 
not possible to obtain more signatures ; but he doubted if there 
was a petition ever sent from Dublin that, for the number of 
signatures, contained a greater portion of respectability — not 
even the petitions of the corporation. (Laughter.) 

It was remarkable that the two Galway members, who objected 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



to the petition, are returned by electors two-thirds of whom are 
Catholics, and several of them members of the Catholic Associa- 
tion. But he (Mr. O'Connell) had since learned, and was in- 
formed by several of them, that thirteen of the present members 
are not likely to have the opportunity of objecting to the Catholic 
petition after the next election — so indignant do the electors of 
Galway feel at the conduct of those honourable gentlemen. In- 
deed, he did not think the Catholics could have more dangerous 
enemies than those who vote the general question of Emancipa- 
tion, because it is sure to be of no avail ; but when a particular 
grievance is submitted, they are sure to be found in the ranks 
of ministers. 

The Catholics could have no worse nor more effectual enemy 
than the man who, having the patronage of a county in his 
pocket, and boasting of its influence, coalesced with a ministry 
like the present, though he might formally fulfil the conditions 
upon which he was returned, by giving his solitary vote upon 
an annual mockery of the Emancipation Bill. 

A member inquired what was become of the address to the Lord Lieutenant, upon 
which 

Mr. O'Connell stated, that the committee had made no report. 
As for himself, he said he had changed his mind upon that subject 
I since the resolution of the corporation of Cork had been put for- 
ward. This he regarded as an official proceeding, not s^ch-as 
the proclamation of an Orange lodge, imposing upon, ridiculing, 
and insulting the government by forwarding this Orange procla- 
mation with fictitious signatures, such as the romantic one of 
Alfred Howard. It was certainly the safest mode of keeping 
the name of the grand officer secret, when he had the grace to 
be ashamed of his dignity by affixing the signature of a person 
who did not exist. 

The committee appointed to prepare the address to his Excel- 
lency had determined on the propriety of not doing so, out of 
respect to the exertions which it was evident the Lord Lieutenant 
was making, to prevent the insult against which his interposition 
was intended to be claimed ; and they also refrained in order to 
show their sense of the conciliating disposition evinced by the 
corporation of Cork. 

Next, Mr. O'Connell, on the part of the committee appointed 
to prepare petitions to parliament, on the subject of poor-rates, 
stated, that it was the opinion of the committee, that as they 
were every day obtaining additional information with facts which 



224 



SELECT 3FEECHES OP 



were almost incredible, they conceived it most prudent to defei 
the petition until next session, when they were determined not 
to leave ministers the opportunity of slurring over the grievances 
of Ireland. 

They would then attack them in detail, and upon such dis- 
qualifications as were more immediately felt, and upon which 
they would offer strong and irresistible evidence. They would 
petition week after week, as if those who had tlie power persisted 
in refusing to remove the fetters, their ears should, at least, be 
dinned with the clanking of their chains, and the great object of 
the Catholic Association would thereby be attained — that of ex- 
posing to the world the present iniquitous and barbarous policy 
of a vacillating, inefficient ministry. 

The mockery of a Commutation Tithe Bill, wholly impracti- 
cable, if not otherwise objectionable, would meet its deserved 
fate in the House of Lords. No operative measure to do away 
the grievance of the present tithe system is likely to pass the 
legislature this session, and the clergy will have the benefit of 
the Composition of Tithe Agistment Bill, without having com- 
muted the tithe of potatoes. Mr. O'Connell here declared he 
knew no greater evil existing than that, nor did he think the 
imposition of local taxation was foreign to their purpose, as they 
found in it a compost of manure that nourished and preserved 
the existence of that hot-bed of bigotry and persecution, the 
Dublin corporation ; who, protected by Mr. Goulbourn, might 
now triumphantly glory in having jobbed and squandered so 
many hundred thousand pounds to keep alive the cry of intoler- 
ance and persecution. 

He assured the meeting they would be prepared with mate- 
rials for next session, that would create for them in the minds 
of the British people, at least consideration, if not conviction. 



MOTION OF THANKS TO HENRY BROUGHAM. 

The next speech we shall quote had reference to one who> though still prominent on 
the public scene, has long ago ceased to merit such testimonials as that which follows. 

The speech was on a motion (made July the 12th) of thanks to Henry Brougham, who 
then did appear to merit the glowing eulogium Mr. O'Connell pronounced upon him, but 
who now has sunk himself almost below contempt. 



Mr. O'Connell rose. He did not consider it would be r.ecea- 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



225 



sary, upon the subject of his motion, to address the meeting at 
any length. 

The petition complaining of the administration of justice in 
Ireland, was the first which the Catholics thought advisable not 
to place in the hands of any but an Irish member, and the result 
was proved, that the choice on this occasion was as judicious as 
happy, while the discussion itself, forming a new era in the his- 
tory of Irish grievances, was also matter for congratulation. 

It afforded an opportunity to the Catholics for the exposure 
of corruptions and abuses which would astonish even those who 
stood unawed by conscience, and unsubdued by shame. The 
Catholics, when preparing this petition, did not think it expe- 
dient to enter into a detail of facts which would necessarily pro- 
voke the ire of individual feeling, and elicit a premature defence 
of personal character. There were, besides, many recent cases 
in which the right of property has not been finally decided, and 
the decisions of which may be material to the support of their 
allegations, and if they thought it right to go before the house 
with their petition, complaining in general terms in the first in- 
st?>ace, it was not, he would assure the quibblers, for want of 
materials of evidence, to prove the frequent and glaring acts of 
partiality in the administration of justice, where Catholics were 
concerned, and which were so notorious, that they did not ex- 
pect any man possessing character or intellect could have the 
hardihood to deny ; but though the Catholics, from thinking too 
favourably of human nature, may have miscalculated the oppo- 
sition to their complaints, perhaps their error was a fortunate 
one, as having caused a challenge which they (the Catholics) 
most willingly accepted from a confidence in their ability, if not 
to satisfy, at least to confound their opponents. 

But that was a subject which they should adjourn until next 
sessions of parliament, when he could promise their pledge should 
be redeemed. 

To the people of Ireland, the debate itself afforded important 
instruction, teaching them what they were to expect from the 
perfidious friendship of members who assume an affected libe- 
rality, in which to shroud their mercenary ambition and unwor- 
thy projects, until the moment of the minister's necessity, when 
the liberties and privileges of constituents, the country's rights, 
and the nation's interests, are bartered for the patronage of a 
county, or the appointment of some dozen of gaugers. (Hear 
hear). 

After the debate was opened by a speech (than which there 
vol il p 



226 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



never was one more powerfully eloquent pronounced in that 
house), Mr. Goulbourn, from his official station, undertook to 
reply (though certainly not hy argument). He condescended to 
quote what fell from so humble an individual as himself (Mr. 
O'Connell), when, in alluding to the judges, he instanced the 
honesty and ability of those who preside in the Court of King's 
Bench. Now, had the right honourable gentleman meant to 
rely upon that opinion, as contradicting the averments contained 
in the petition, he showed that he (Mr. Goulbourn) was quite 
mistaken in its operation, for, in their capacity of petitioners, 
they did not make any allusion generally to the judges, so nei- 
ther could a compliment paid to any partial number of them, 
serve to exculpate the whole ; and as to what fell from him (Mr. 
O'Connell) respecting the judges of the King's Bench, he could, 
with great certainty, declare it was not the incense of flattery, 
but an expression of honest feeling extorted from him by a con- 
viction of the intrinsic merits of the distinguished individuals. 
(Hear, hear.) 

But as the right honourable gentleman was merely a hired 
advocate, whose official duty obliged him to act as protector . of 
abuses in Ireland, even to the plunderers of the corporation 
(great applause and continued cheering), he might be excused 
for trying to make the most of a bad case. Gentlemen might, 
perhaps, recollect Jeremy Bentham, talking of liberty, described 
the several authorities in the state as a series of checks upon each 
other ; and as the judge, he says, is a check on the jury, so the 
Lord Lieutenant is a check on the judges ; and as liberty con- 
sists of checks, so Mr. Goulbourn was sent to be a check over the 
Lord Lieutenant, fearing his excellency would bo too favourable 
to liberty (laughter, and hear, hear), if not under the control of 
a gentleman serving his apprenticeship as a statesman, and who 
was frequently reduced to the dilemma of the barber who cut 
his finger when shaving a beggar, for which he cursed the poor 
wretch's, thin cheek. (Laughter.) So did Mr. Goulbourn often 
cut his finger when defending the respectability of an Orange 
lodge, or the selection of a jury composed of twelve brothers, 
sworn to root out the Amalehite over whose life or property they 
hold the law's control. 

Mr. Goulbourn, for aught he knew, might be a very honour- 
able gentleman, though placed in one of the most unpleasant 
situations, and obliged to support and defend every measure of 
the cabinet to which he was attached. He had the authority 
of Falstaff for saying, that it was no crime for a man to labour 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 221 

in his vocation. As an advocate, the right honourable gentle- 
man could not have worse cheats. 

The Catholic petition was encountered by the qualms of the 
immaculate Colonel Barry's conscience ; they were all aware 
how he shuddered at any, the least imputation, upon the honesty 
of juries ; how the preserver of Magna Charta and patron of 
Orange grand juries, gave loose to his virtuous indignation at 
any insinuation against the administrators of justice in Ireland; 
and then the honesty of his zeal, and the success of his efforts 
for the preservation of our constitutional privileges deserved, 
as they would be, to be transmitted to admiring posterity ; and 
those who have heretofore toasted Lord Erskine, and trial by 
jury, would henceforth vociferate "huzza" for Colonel Barry, and 
the honesty of jurors ! Long life to Colonel Barry, the preserver 
of justice. (Laughter and cheers,) 

And oh ! how their admiration for the lover of juries must be 
heightened by the recollection, that in the newspapers of 1798, it 
1 is stated that a gentleman then named Barry Maxwell made a 
S proposition to the Irish House of Commons, for the creation of 
[ an ex post facto law, authorizing the trial by court martial of 
J a number of unfortunate men who had been some time in con- 
finement, owing to the difficulty of proving their guilt, but whom 
he alleged it was necessary to dispose of (hear, hear) — a proposal 
which even Lord Castlereagh's government refused to entertain, 
and protested against ! 

How it came to be the same person, who, in the English Com- 
mons, was so tenacious of a jury's rights, he (Mr. O'Connell) 
could attribute to his improvement from an English education, 
and, indeed, he could hardly believe that the present Colonel 
Barry was the apologist of the enormities of the year 1798, and 
who now raised his voice in support of the juries, though he 
could well believe him the person who wishes that Catholics 
should be excluded from juries that were to decide upon Ca- 
tholic life or property ; but that is a mere matter of taste with 
the gallant colonel, in which he (Mr. O'Connell) differed from 
, him. 

In alluding to the Gal way members, Mr. Richard Martin, and 
Mr. Blake, he (Mr. O'Connell) was not a little embarrassed in 
endeavouring to restrain his indignation within those limits ne- 
cessary to guard the expression of his feelings. 

[Here a gentleman exclaimed, include Mr. Hutchinson. Mr. O'Connell, in a very earnest 
tone, replied, indeed I will not, and I shall give you my reason by-and-by.] 



228 



SELECT SPEECHES OP 



The learned gentleman then resumed. "Why, he would ask, 
were the Catholics not long since emancipated 1 because those 
whom they return to parliament, under the guise of Catholic 
friends, proved their most insidious enemies, ever ready to co- 
alesce with the bitterest opponents against any practical or sub- 
stantial good being extended to them, and took care to parade 
on the side of liberality, when they knew their services would r 
not be available. Such men were the real enemies of the Catho- 
lics, for, like treacherous allies, they elude the precautions that 
would be adopted against the avowed, but less dishonourable 
enemies of religious toleration— the Orangemen, and should the 
Catholic electors of Galway neglect to mark their disapprobation 
in the most effectual and decisive manner, they would be de- 
graded amongst the meanest of mankind, and unworthy of , 
possessing the privileges of freemen or electors. 

He now felt, he assured the meeting, an indescribable dread 
in mentioning the name of Hutchinson, lest a word escape him 
that might be construed into any thing like disrespect ; a man ^ 
to whom Ireland and the Catholics owed a debt of gratitude, * 
which they should not feel the less, because of their inability to 
acquit themselves of it. (Hear, hear, and applause.) At the 
period of Ireland's suicide, when the family of Mr. Hutchinson 
assisted in the degradation of their country, he it was who, sacri- 
ficing the dearest affections of the heart, which are inseparable 
from refined feeling, and soften the chagrins of existence, sepa- 
rated himself from those connexions, and stood forward as the 
eloquent, able, and independent advocate of his country (hear, 
hear), and has since remained the active and energetic guardian 
of her few remaining rights. 

Could the Irish peasant forget bis exertions on the subject of 
tithes ? and though he has been in a situation in which © 
minister never thinks a patriot disinterested, has he purchased 
a country's patronage at the expense of his vote 1 No, he stands 
on a pinnacle of virtuous independence, removed at an immea- 
surable distance above the reproach of dishonour. To him are 
the Catholics indebted for having secured to them not only the 
return of two real friends, but the exclusion of an Orange repre- 
sentation. On the subject of this petition, Mr. Hutchinson 
voted with Mr. Brougham ; but he at the same time expressed 
his opinion of a particular class of persons whom he sought to 
relieve from the charges made by the petitioners. 

In that opinion he certainly was mistaken. He forgot the 
ease of Todd Jones ; he also forgot, that when an inhabitant 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



229 



of the city of Cork, not connected with the corporation, had i 
occasion to bring an action, he never had it tried there, but 1 
in some neighbouring county, frequently in his (Mr. O' Cou- 
ncil's county ; (" your own kingdom," observed a gentleman in 
the room.) The honourable gentleman (Mr. Hutchinson) had 
also forgotten, that it is notorious that a poor man never ob- I 
tains a verdict against a rich man in the city of Cork, and that 
it is the only county in Ireland in which an assassination has 
been committed for a pecuniary consideration, in consequence 
of the difficulty of obtaining justice for a poor man. 

Indeed, there was one exception to this general accusation, in 
which he (Mr. O'Connell) had been himself concerned, and ho 
was resolved to try to shame the jury into a verdict, by telling 
them if they gave a verdict for his client, they would be the 
first jury in the city of Cork that had given a verdict for a poor 
man, against a rich adversary, and they deserved the distinction, 
for they found for the poor man. There was not a county in i 
Ireland, even the most Orange of the north, that he would not 
sooner have a Catholic's case tried in, than the city of Cork ; 
and as to their grand juries, he never yet heard of a resolution 
proceeding from them in favour of liberty or liberality, while in- 
stances are most numerous of the contrary. 

It was by presenting a petition against the Catholics, as fore- ! 
man of the grand jury, that Mr. Anderson, of Fermoy, got his j 
knightship from the Duke of Eichmond. With the existence 
of all these facts, he would admit Mr. Hutchinson was mistaken 
in his opinion of the city of Cork juries, and he would not apo- 
logize for the error ; but he was bound, from the deepest grati- 
tude, to acknowledge Mr. Hutchinson's many and eminent 
services, and to express his sincere belief that he was mistaken, 
and had not shaken his (Mr. O'Connell's) conviction of his pmv 
and ardent patriotism. 

In mentioning the name of Brougham, he was affected by feel- 
ings of admiration, gratitude, and pleasure. (Hear, hear.) Never 
was there, perhaps, a happier specimen of splendid and variotw 
talents, of a powerful mind, of chastened energy and unaffected 
greatness of design and arrangement, than in the speech for which 
they were about to thank its author. In his reply to those who 
followed, oh, what a triumph ! He followed them to their den, 
and dragged them from their strongest hold. When they affected 
to talk of the celebrated letter being improperly introduced, 
from the manner in which it had been obtained, instead, then, 
of replying by acquainting them of its history as furnished by 



230 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



him (Mr. O'Connell), lie fearlessly preferred, not merely to enter, 
but to carry the war into their own camp, to ask them how they 
came by the queeris letters ? 

But oh, that was a different case. "No public crime was com- 
mitted there — no violation of the most sacred principles of social 
or civilised society. There was no despicable meanness in bribing 
the queen's domestics to become malignant tale-bearers, perfi- 
dious and treacherous guardians of her escrutoire ! Oh, but that ! 
occurrence was managed with such excessive delicacy, that it did | 
not deserve to be named at the same time with such baseness, ! 
as producing a mischievous, offensive, and unconstitutional let- 
ter, found in the street, and relating to improper interference 
with the grand jury by — a judge. 

The bare mention of even the possibility of a political judge 
of a certain party being influenced by his prejudices in the ad- 
ministration of justice, would be such a sin in the eyes of Lord ; 
Downes and Mr. Saurin (who were both perfect saints in their 
way), that life itself would hardly suffice to expiate the offence ; 1 
but thank heaven, Mr. Plunket spares the press at both sides, I 
and much good may it do them, though some portion of it never ' 
spares him (Mr. Plunket), nor were they more kind to himself 
(Mr. O'Connell); but they were perfectly welcome, when they 
made any thing by him, to cut him up in bad rhyme and worse 
prose, sooner than he should invade the liberty of that powerful 
preserver of our rights and freedom. 

But he would ask, if ever such a use was made of the press as 
the publication of a charge lately given from the bench in Car- ] 
low ? Why, it was a perfect libel on the learned judge, for it ) 
was impossible that any such buffoonery could ever have escaped 
from the lips of a man holding the office of Chief Justice ; and j 
if" Mr. Saurin should succeed in turning Mr. Plunket out, the 
press — that is the independent portion — will be punished for j 
having inserted so gross a libel as that purporting to be Lord 
Norbury's charge. , 

In the speeches of Mr. Brougham upon their petition, there 
was so much to admire as made it impossible to select any par- 
ticular passages for eulogy ; but what was most worthy comment 
was the total indifference to personal or professional interests 
when upon the subject of the judicial authorities ; but take him 
all in all, had they a man in the House of Commons possessing 
such powerful talents. 

There was, to be sure, Mr. Peel, remarkable for his figures of 
poetry, Mr. Canning for his figures of wit, and Mr. Robinson 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P 



231 



for his figures of calculation : but they were all so many figures 
of pigmies when compared with the intrepid zeal, capacity, 
powerful mind, and happy eloquence of Brougham ; and sin- 
cerely did he (Mr. O'Connell) wish he were endowed with some 
portion of his abilities, in order to express the gratitude of 
Irish Catholics for that exertion, the fame of which will travel 
to the remotest corners of the world; and if their country should 
have occasion to erect a monument, not to a Wellington, but to 
perpetuate the resurrection of Ireland from the evils of the 
Union and the curse of intolerance, oppression, and persecution, 
the first name written over the altar of Justice should be— 

HENRY BROUGHAM. 

The Association having adjourned from its rising on the day of the motion for thank3 
to Henry Brougham, until November, Mr. O'Connell, thus released from his chief political 
engagements, delayed only until those of a legal nature were terminated by the long vaca- 
tion, to rejoin his family in France. 

From Tours, where they had spent the winter, he brought them to Paris, and thence, 
after several weeks in that city, by Rouen and Havre, to Southampton, for a further 
sojourn of a few months at the latter. 

It is not for the author of this half-sketch, half -compilation, overpowered as he is by 
the multiplicity of matter directly relevant to his theme, to introduce what is of lesser, 
because of private concernment; yet the remark may be allowed him, that the recollec- 
tions of travel in the company of Mr. O'Connell are among the most delightful in the mind.s 
of his family. Records of the old woes of Ireland ; recitations of her most moving ballad 
poetry ; information and illustration the most interesting upon historical events connected 
with the objects on the line of route ; these (given an additional charm to by the unvary- 
ing sunshine of cheerfulness, and the frequent indulgences cf playful humour) 

" Cheered the rough road, and made us whh it long T 

Late in October he returned to Ireland, accompanied only by the writer, then on his w ay 
j to the Jesuits' College, at Clongowes— Mr. O'Connell not being one of those Irish Catholics, 
who are so ashamed of their country that they must needs leave their children in England 
to be educated. 

Before proceeding to his ultimate destination, the writer attended one meeting of the 
I infant Catholic Association, in Capel-street, and, by a chance, did not attend another until 
i the year 1S29, when that body had not only passed its maturity, but, having accomplished 

its great end and object, was approaching its dissolution. 
The contrast was striking. The narrow two-room floor in Capel-street, yet but haif 

filled, the scanty returns of money, the few communications from the country, and Inc. 
; informal haste with which the business of the day (all, save Mr. O'Connell's usual address) 
! was got through, were exchanged, in 1829, for the much larger arena of the Corn Exchango 

Rooms, crowded — room, passages, stairs, and all, to suffocation ; Catholic rent handed ill 
i in hundreds ; country letters of the most spirit-stirring tone read in rapid succession ; and 
'. these, and other routine businesses, conducted with a gravity, and an observance of fornix. 

that could scarcely be equalled in the bureau of a Secretary of Stato. 
The men themselves (such of them as the vicissitudes of the eventful interval had left 

in activity) were altered. Captious, uncertain, half-timid in 1823, in 1829 they were bold, 

self-confident, enthusiastic. Each of them, in that interval, had been taught— 

44 His rights to scan, 

And learned to venerate. himself— as Irishman,* 



232 SELECT SPEECHES OP 

One only remained unaltered. The tone, the manner of 1823 were, in his case, the tona 
and manner of 1829, high, cneering, hopeful, and determined, to the fullest degree, but not 
more so in the latter year than in the former. 

In her adversity, he had never doubted of the fortunes of Ireland, and carrying out d 
the merciful designs of Divine Providence in her regard. 

The Association re-assembled for its winter " session," at the rooms in Capei street, ea 
Saturday, the 1st of November. Mr. O'Connell had all the work to himself. 

Mr. O'Connell observed that in consequence of the secretary's 
absence, the book containing the proceedings of the Association 
could not be laid before the meeting ; and, therefore, as there 
was no business nor order of the day to proceed in, he should 
then give notice of some motions for the next day of meeting, 
and he would begin with notice of a motion of thanks to the 
author of the pamphlet " In Vindication of the Catholics of Ire- 
land." 

The pamphlet had been attributed to the learned Doctor 
Doyle, and there was no doubt it emanated from his powerful pen ; 
but as the author had not thought fit to attach his name to it, 
the Association would not be authorized to use his name in their 
vote. 

He (Mr. O'Connell) considered it truly satisfactory that such 
a work came from such an authority ; for there was not a sin- 
gle principle professed through the whole of the pamphlet that 
did not meet the concurrence of every Catholic in Ireland. The 
" Essay upon Tithes" was, perhaps, one of the happiest compo- 
sitions ever read, being in its nature novel, and in its objects 
useful, in demonstrating the weakness and insufficiency of the 
title to tithes, as derived from divine right. To the Catholics 
it was matter of congratulation that, against a principle so 
pernicious and oppressive in its bearings, and so much opposed 
to man's natural rights in its practice, the arguments most ef- 
fective, and calculated to shake its holding, were furnished by a 
Catholic prelate. 

For seventeen of the eighteen years when, struggling with the 
British Parliament for their rights, the Catholics dared not raise 
their voices upon the subject of tithes, until their enemies had 
furnished them with the opportunity, and then it was shown 
that, however insupportable a grievance tithes were to the Irish 
peasantry, the mode of collection rendered them the most fatal 
enemy to the peace and prosperity of the country. It was the 
bounden duty of the Association to pledge itself to the princi- 
ples professed in the pamphlet, and to throw around it the shield 
of its opinion against any assaults thr.t may be made upon its 



DANIEL CTOONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



author, by one of the vilest instruments that ever disgraced ths 
institution of the press. 

If the pamphlet was read in England, it would be of the last 
importance, as it might induce England, for the security of the 
British empire, to think of making peace with Ireland, when 
she is very likely to be at war with the Continent. (Hear, hear.) 
By the intended vote of thanks, the Association would proclaim 
their opinion, and their wishes, on the subject of their griev- 
ances. 

The next notice he should offer, was for the appointment of a 
committee for collecting such facts as may be deemed necessary 
in support of their petition to the House of Lords, upon the ad- 
ministration of justice to Ireland, to be presented by Earl Grey. 

The Irish public (he said) well knew that in their country 
justice was corrupted to its very source, and that in one province 
in particular, the administration of justice had been affected by 
the unfortunate tinge of sectarian and political prejudice, and 
that even in the very counties so highly lauded by parliament 
for their good government. 

When the petition was confided to Mr. Brougham, it was 
not thought necessary to support its allegations by particular 
facts or instances, or he should have been furnished with them 
most plentifully ; and if they were only to take up the records 
of the last assizes, they should find abundant matter of com- 
plaint in the Leinster circuit. But their petition never went to 
arraign the superior judges. It was true they did not compli- 
ment, but neither did they censure any court ; indeed, it was 
quite impossible their complaints could have alluded to the su- 
perior courts ; for whilst there were particular judges exception- 
able, the superior courts in general were honest, impartial, and 
able and he most explicitly and unequivocally expressed his 
respectful admiration of, and confidence in,. all the judges in the 
King's Bench. 



TITHE COMMUTATION BILL. 

Mr. O'Connell said his third notice related to a very impor- 
tant subject. It was, that a committee should be appointed to 
prepare a petition to parliament against the late Tithe Com- 
mutation Bill, than which he had no idea cf any measure mora 
contemptible or ridiculous 

i 



234 SELECT SPEECHES CP 

One of the best Irishmen living — and, if there was but one 
such in every county, Ireland would not remain as it is — that 
ealented individual, the Honourable Pierce Butler,* had written 
most powerfully upon the gross injustice of fixing the average 
for the seven years preceding 1821, but though the honourable 
and learned writer had successfully exposed the false data upon 
which the bill was founded, yet, as he was not a lawyer, he did 
not detect the important distinctions between the sums paid, and 
that agreed to be paid, during the seven years upon which the 
average is struck ; and every one knew there was some difference 
(particularly in Ireland) between sums paid, and sums agreed to 
I be paid. (Hear, hear.) 

And it was also to be considered that the term of years for as- 
] certaining the average, included two or three of the years in 
j which agricultural produce was higher than it had ever been in< 
I Ireland before or since ; and then, how was the average to be 
j ascertained, supposing the principle unobjectionable ? Why, by 
| commissioners, who were to average every acre in the parish, 
| and for which they were to receive each thirty shillings per da} r . 
j By that provision every man of property would be at the mercy 
j of the commissioners ; and for himself, he (Mr. O'Connell) would 
j be glad to have the commissioners his friends, but most cer- 
j tainly would dread their enmity, in having his property subject 
i to their valuation. 

Really, thirty shillings per day to gentlemen paid for riding 
through the parish, amusing themselves, and exercising their 
strange boasted authority, would be so desirable a mode of kill- 
ing time, that he (Mr. O'Connell) feared the seven years allowed 
for ascertaining the practicability of the measure would expire 
before every acre in the parish was valued. 

From the clause, that whatever sum should be awarded was 
to have precedence of every other engagement or claim, it ap- 
peared as if the anxiety of the framers of this bill was directed 
principally to the ministers protection and aggrandisement, he 
(the minister) being permitted to" re-value and obtain the high- 
est price of the day, should he become dissatisfied with the 
former allowance. It was calculated that by this bill one half 
of the property of the country would be enjoyed by the clergy, 
and he (Mr. O'Connell) was one of those who thought they had 
quite enough already ; nor would he quarrel with the person, 
whoever he might be, that would say the clergymen had too 
much tithes. 

* The recently deceased and lamented Cobcel Butler M.P. county El'.*' nny 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



EXTENSION OF THE CATHOLIC ASSOCIATION. 

Mr. O'Coxnell next gave notice of a motion for the appoint- 
ment of a committee to devise measures for the purpose of ex- 
tending the Catholic Association throughout every county in 
Ireland, as he conceived the Catholic cause would be benefited 
by every county coming simultaneously forward next session, 
with their petitions to parliament. 

The misery of Ireland has, within these few years particularly, 
been increasing in proportion to the prosperity of other coun- 
tries. France, in her finances and trade, was at that moment 
the most flourishing nation in Europe. Owing to the apathy 
of the British ministry, she had exterminated liberty on the 
Continent, and driven her from her last hold ; she had secured 
the most imposing military positions ; she commands the 
coast from Cadiz to Dunkirk, from any port of which she 
can leave at pleasure, with her countless forces. The British 
navy, in its proudest days, could not blockade such an extent 
of coast as France now possesses ; and whether her hostility to 
England was a mark of gratitude or not, was immaterial. 
(Hear.) But with such facilities and powerful means, and 
having previously secured the alliance of Marshal Bock, she 
might, on a landing at Bantry Bay, prove an infinitely more 
formidable enemy than ministers appeared to think. 

He (Mr. O'Connell) was of opinion that a connexion with 
England would be beneficial to Ireland ; but he wished it to be 
a fair and just connexion; and he conceived his allegiance to the 
British monarch obliged him to express his apprehensions and 
opinions for the safety of the empire, and to caution England 
against continuing her intolerant opposition to the rights of the 
Irish nation, thus making for France an ally so near her in the 
Irish peasantry, who should rather be made a portion of Eng- 
land's strength. 

He thought that when the Catholic Association was extended 
through Ireland, they might simultaneously send forward a 
petition to parliament every fortnight; for, unhappily, there 
was no want of subject or matter for such petitions. 



BELECT SPEECHES OF 



CATHOLIC BURYING GEOUND. 

When Mr. O'Connell was about to hand in his notices, Mr 
Conroy reminded him of the rights of sepulture ; upon which 
Mr. O'Connell observed that the subject was certainly one of 
paramount importance. 

Late occurrences had shown that opportunities were eagerly 
sought for, and every pretext laid hold of to humble the Catho- 
lics, and remind them of their degraded condition. They were 
not content with oppressing Catholics when living, but they 
must insult them when dead. He had no doubt of the Catho- 
lic's rights, as stated in his published opinion, and which he 
learned was assailed, in his absence, by some person who with- 
held his name. It was not his (Mr. O'Connell's) habit to reply 
to communications addressed to him anonymously, or he would 
have something to occupy him ; but if any barrister, or other 
person, would contend with him openly, he should be able to 
support his opinion, and dissipate such objections as had yet 
been put forward. 

To be sure, he heard it gravely asserted that the church-yard 
was the clergyman's freehold, and he could do as he pleased with 
it; and so he (Mr. O'Connell) always understood that a man could 
make what use he pleased of his own freehold ; but he had yet to 
learn whether a clergyman could plough up the burying-ground, 
and sow turnips in it: and yet he was told it was his freehold. If 
he could appropriate the ground to sowing turnips or other ve- 
getables, yet he doubted whether such an occupation would be 
as productive as sowing Papists (laughter) ; for the freehold of St. 
James's, he was informed, produced the minister near a couple 
of thousand a- year. 

The Catholics should get rid of such unfeeling and unnatural 
irritation; and the means by which they could do so would be, 
to form an association for the purchase of ground, to serve as an 
asylum where their bones might be deposited with the forms of 
Christian burial, without fear of insult, and where the Irish Ca- 
tholics might enjoy the exercise of a religious ceremony of which 
they only, of the whole Christian world, were deprived. (Hear, 
hear, hear.) 

Catholics should know that the burying-grounds were not 
consecrated by the Protestants, but by the Catholics; and it is 
because they were so, that Catholics continue being buried in 
the present grave-yards. Catholic bishops could again conse- 



DANIEL O'CONNKLL, ESQ., M.P. 



237 



crate burying-grounds, the revenue of which, instead of being 
given to enable their enemies to purchase The Evening Mail, 
and insult the Catholics, may be applied to some Catholic char- 
ity (great applause); and then the Bishop of Dublin and the 
sexton op St. Kevin's may be left to arrange the expulsion of 
Catholic clergymen from church-yards. He mentioned the 
Bishop of Dublin, because it was between him and the sexton ; 
but he could not say what portion of the honour each was en- 
titled to. The glorious distinction was not exclusively theirs, 
however ; for the same revolting and unchristian-like interfe- 
rence had extended lately through several parts of the kingdom; 
and really those who valued the peace and tranquillity of Ire- 
land should be anxious for such an establishment as would pre- 
clude the necessity of employiug the police, or increasing their 
numbers. 

It was never so much the practice as at present to call for the 
interference of the Peelers. Whether to distrain or collect tithes, 
to drive for rent or execute any civil process, the criminal and 
military authorities must have a share in the proceedings ; and i 
if, in addition to these services, they give the Catholics a mili- 
tary escort with their funeral processions, the armed guardians 
of Ireland must be prodigiously increased, and perhaps on such 
occasions, having to bury one, may cause the death of many; 
and therefore, instead of paying for the privilege of being insulted, 
the Catholics should endeavour to avoid the opportunities of 
giving or receiving offence. 

He should, therefore, give notice of a motion for appointing 
a committee to take measures for the purchase of ground for a 
Catholic cemetery, and against which there was no statute. 
There was one against burying in old abbeys ; but he believed 
that was remedied by the act of '93. 

" After thanks to the chairman (says the report) the meeting adjourned ; the 
three months and a half recess not having given birth to any projects for carry- 
ing on the agitation on the part of any other member." 

The following Saturday— the usual day of adjournment— Mr. O'Connell redeemed some 
of the foregoing notices : — 

CATHOLIC ASSOCIATION.— Nov. 8, 1823. 
Laurence Clynch, Esq., in the Chair. 

Mr. O'Connell opened the business of the day, by observing 
that as had given five notices of motions for that day's discua- 



238 



&SLE f SrEECHES OP 



sion, it was his privilege to take them in such order as he pleased ; 
and he should commence with one upon which he did not anti- 
cipate any difference of sentiment in the meeting. 

The motion was — " That the thanks of the Association be re- 
turned to the author of the pamphlet in vindication of the Eoman 
Catholics of Ireland" — a work in which its author evinces more 
talent, more genuine liberality, and more command of his sub- 
ject, than, perhaps, any other writer who has laboured in the 
same cause. 

He fearlessly asserts what Catholics believe to be true, while 
he treats with decent respect the belief of others ; and in han- 
dling with a happy and dignified sarcasm the vulgar and bigoted 
prejudices that exist against his countrymen, he forcibly and 
successfully vindicates their principles. From amongst the 
numerous, unfounded, and illiberal charges daily issuing from 
the vile press of their opponents, he has selected such as appeared 
to have any claim to be considered serious accusations ; and he 
(Mr. O'Connell) should mention them in the order they appeared 
in the work itself, for the purpose of showing to the Association 
how important it was the charges should be collected and re. 
plied to. 

The first charge was, the late miracles or (should he call them) 
extraordinary cures. If upon that subject there happened a 
mistake, was it reasonable its consequences should fall upon the 
Catholic body, or that it should be imputed to them ? The rea- 
lity of the cure had been admitted on all sides. Mrs. Stuart 
was most dangerously ill, and in a few moments was restored to 
perfect health ; that is a fact not doubted. Then as to the man- 
ner of cure, Doctor Cheyne and others might call it natural, and 
also contend that the circumstance of a person who lay at tho 
point of death, and was instantly restored to health, had no con- 
nexion vith the sacrifice of the Mass ; but was it to be believed 
that from any species of credulity, such a man as Doctor Mur- 
ray would be capable of contriving an imposition or publishing 
a falsehood, and that the lady herself, and the other persons who 
have attested what they saw, were perjurers. If credit was to 
be denied to them, he did not know what was to become of hu- 
man testimony. 

It had been his duty, from a professional course of many years, 
to draw matters of fact, as resulting from human evidence ; and 
more credible testimony than theirs he never saw offered to a 
public tribunal of justice. 

Mrs. Stuart had confined herself for life, from religious mo- 



DANIEL O'COXXELL, ESQ., II. P. 



239 



tires, and could have no object to gain by condemning herself 
to punishment hereafter. She is a Catholic, and believes in the 
intercession of her Redeemer, whom she appealed to for the 
truth of her deposition ; and could they believe she would daily 
approach the celebration of his sacrifice with perjury upon her 
lips ? He (Mr. O'Connell) was told that day, in the hall of the 
Four Courts, by a respectable gentleman, that Mrs. Stuart had 
been dead for some time past. 

Mr. O'Gonnan here observed, that report was generally circulated throughout th^ 
country 

He asked him (Mr. O'Connell) if he believed in the cure ? and 
upon telling him he did, the gentleman went off without hearing 
him as to his reasons for so believing. 

He had dwelt upon that topic rather long, because he consi- 
dered it one of importance to Ireland ; and though he believed 
the cure a miraculous one, yet he quarrelled with no one who be- 
lieved it to be natural. But not so with the intolerant scurri- 
lous fanatics who have reviled and calumniated one of the meek- 
est and least pretending of men — a prelate of a mild and humane 
disposition, unobtrusive and peaceable habits, whose splendid 
talents and scholastic acquirements have been ever exercised for 
the good of his species and the advancement of Christianity. 
(Hear, hear.) He — the scholar of Him from whose example he 
has learned meekness and humbleness of heart — he, the metro- 
politan head of the Catholic Church, has been assailed with a 
virulence disgraceful to any but the vile Orange press of Dublin. 
Oh ! what a frightful state of society, when persons are found 
capable of traducing such characters as Doctor Murray, merely 
because he should sanction, by the authority of his name, what 
he knew to be true, and what he (Mr. O'Connell) hoped Parlia- 
ment would appoint a commission to inquire into. 

In the pamphlet of which he (Mr. O'Connell) spoke, how finely 
portrayed was that amiable quality, Christian forbearance ; and 
how mildly opposed to volumes of personal abuse ! Doctor 
Doyle had not replied — he had merely written an apology for 
the Catholic belief, that the arm of God is not now less powerful 
than when it created the world, however infidels may coalesce 

; to destroy that belief, by impious ribaldry. 

The next charge against the Catholics, and against which Doc- 
tor Doyle had so admirably and effectively vindicated them is — 

| u That the Catholic religion is anti-Christian, and is so slavish 
as to unfit its professors for the enjoy ment of freedom and 



240 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



never was a charge more distinctly or happily refuted than by 
the reply, that that religion cannot be an ti- Christian with which 
Christianity began ; nor slavish, which first disseminated free- 
dom, in establishing the British constitution ; nor slavish, which 
established with it free states, before they became monarchical ; 
and monarchical governments, before they became absolute. 

The inestimable disquisition upon tithes he (Mr. O'Connell) 
could not sufficiently panegyrize. The author had satisfactorily 
proved that they were not of divine right, but of human insti- 
tution (hear), and that they are some of the blessings for which 
Ireland is indebted to English civilization. 

He has shown that the Irish supported the clergy respect- 
ably before the institution of tithes: and he has also established 
beyond contradiction, that when tithes were instituted, they 
were appropriated to the purposes of repairing and building 
churches, and in support of the poor; and that the innovation 
pompously, but erroneously, styled the " Reformation," took from 
the poor that benefit, whilst it threw upon them all the ex- 
penses of church repairs. (Hear, hear hear.) The wicked in- 
sinuation that Catholic leaders had endeavoured to instigate a 
rebellion, it was unnecessary for him (Mr. O'Connell) to say 
how triumphantly he (the author of the pamphlet) had refuted. 
If the Catholics were a slavish race, and suffering under their 
bondage, was it rebellion to tell their oppressors they felt the 
weight of their chains 

Was it, in Ireland, false, unfounded, or wicked, to tell the peo- 
ple they were persecuted, oppressed, and unhappy 1 — or was the 
information new to them ? (Hear, hear.) Are they not rather 
the promoters of disturbance zuho daily proclaim their privilege 
to irritate and insult the population of Ireland, and threaten 
them with extermination should they seek to emerge from that 
debasement ? Are they not the disturbers of Ireland who seek 
to perpetuate her grievances 1 (Hear, hear, hear.) 

The Catholics were charged with wishing to oppose the pro* 
gress of education. It was a peculiarity of the English charac- 
ter, that liberality was an attribute said exclusively to belong to 
the Protestant religion, and that the Catholic was the reverse. 
But did those who argued so forget that a Catholic state was 
the first to proclaim liberty of conscience ? (Hear, hear.) Did 
they forget Catholic Maryland % Did they forget that Catholic 
Hungary, first gave emancipation to Protestants, who, though 
but one-third of the population, enjoy equal privileges, and are 
free from tithes to the Catholic Church; whilst at the same 



DANIEL o'CONNELL, ESQ., M.l\ 



time, their ministers are paid by the state in proportion to their 
flock ? That, as an example, might be praised by Protestants ; 
bnt remained unimitated. (Hear, hear.) 

Do the exclusively liberal Protestants forget that in Catholic 
France the Protestant clergyman has one-fifth more salary than 
the Catholic ; fbr where the Catholic clergyman has about £80, 
the Protestant has £100, upon the liberal feeling that the latter, 
being privileged to marry, may have a family ? — and do they 
forget that in Catholic France Protestants are eligible to fill 
every public situation ? (Hear, hear.) 

Do they forget that in Catholic Bavaria, the Protestants were 
emancipated ? Do they forget that in the history of any Pro- 
testant state, there are no such instances of liberality to be 
found, and that wherever the Protestants have the upper hand, 
the Catholics are a persecuted race. Oh, but in Protestant 
London, they tell you there is liberty of conscience ; for there 
every one has permission to embrace any form of religion he 
pleases. Why, it is true ; but the same privilege exists at Con- 
stantinople, in China, and even in Madrid, where, by the supine- 
ness and criminal apathy of the English ministry, the Inquisi- 
tion was re-established. If such were called the liberty of con- 
science, he considered it the groundwork of fanatic bigotry. 

The Orange press was not sufficiently strong already, but they 
must have an additional ally in a new newspaper ; but certainly 
one whose weapons were also new, for in it there was a decency 
of expression, and some references to facts, of which the other 
Orange papers were entirely destitute. In that paper it was 
stated that the cause of the Catholics opposing the Kildare- street 
Association was, because they could not exclude the Scriptures 
entirely from the schools. Now, that was a gross misrepresen- 
tation, for the Catholics never required any such unreasonable 
concession : all they asked was, that Bibles should not be forced 
upon Catholic children, contrary to the consent of their pastors 
(hear, hear) ; and he would then pledge himself to the Kildare- 
I street Association (here he hoped he should be reported cor- 
| rectly, for some papers in Ireland were singularly inaccurate in 
that respect), that if they did not force upon Catholic chil- 
dren the Bible without note or comment, and against the consent 
of the Catholic clergy, he would bring them a, phalanx of subscrib- 
ers and supporters ! 

To every unprejudiced person it must be evident that tho 
iender, uninformed minds of children were ill-calculated for the 
i perusal of a work that frequently caused distraction and deiu- 

VOL II. Q 



242 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



sion in the adult, and which, if given to children to read as task 
punishments, must, instead of respect, create in them disgust 
for a work that should never be alluded to but with affectionate 
reverence and admiration. (Hear, hear, hear.) 

Mr. O 1 Gorman here exclaimed, the practice was realry impious. 

Upon every point, Doctor Doyle, in his pamphlet, had ably 
met and refuted their opponents ; and so eagerly was it read, 
and so high was its character, that (what was very unusual in 
Ireland) the first edition had met such a sale as not to leave one 
unsold in the hands of the publisher ; and such was the force 
and overpowering weight of its arguments, that their opponents 
were reduced, as a last experiment to prevent its circulation or 
coming before the English eye, to proclaim it not worth reading. 

There was, however, one passage in it which might be an ex- 
ception to its general merits — the compliment paid to him (Mr. 
O'Connell) ; but if the author seriously intended to compliment 
him, that was a sufficient recompense for the ridicule of his 
(Mr. O'ConnelFs) Orange panegyrist ; and he would desire no 
better character from his country than the approbation of such 
a man as Doctor Doyle. It might be a good subject for laughter 
that he had praised the pamphlet, because the pamphlet had 
praised him * but the pamphlet was as much above his praise 
as he despised the ridicule of a press that never rose above 
Billingsgate phraseology but to tell an unvarnished falsehood. 

Mr. O'Connell then moved the resolution of thanks to the 
author of the pamphlet "In vindication of the Catholics of 
Ireland." 

The motion was then put and carried unanimously. 



BURIAL GROUNDS. 

Mr. O'Connell said, the subject of the burying ground, 
though not next in order, he should bring forward, because the 
necessity for its adoption was more pressing than the others. 

Since the last day of meeting, he had looked into all the law 
authorities upon the subject, and he was happy to inform them, 
that neither by the common, statute, nor ecclesiastical laws 
were there any obstacles opposed to their having a piece of 
ground where their remains might be deposited without the 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



2*3 



eternal recurrence of insult to which they were at present subject. 
He did not wish to make it exclusively Catholic, for as the 
Catholics were desirous not to be separated in this life from their 
brethren of other persuasions, neither did they wish to be 
divided from them in their passage from this to another world. 
It was intended to be open to the deceased of every sect, where 
perfect freedom of religious rites might console the living, and, 
according to his (Mr. O'Connell's) creed, assist the dead. 

The knowledge that those rights would be obtained might ren- 
der death itself less terrible to those who know that even to the 
grave they are prevented by sectarian intolerance. The fact 
was very well known and felt, that burial fees were excessively 
exorbitant. In the case of Mr. D'Arcy, his friends paid no less 
a sum than ten pounds burial fees, for which, indeed, they had 
the privilege of seeing his remains insulted. The immense re- 
venues arising from that source of emolument, the Catholics 
might divert from the pockets of their enemies. Those revenues 
might be applied to the liquidation of the necessary expenses, 
in the first instance, and the surplus go to the formation of a 
fund for the support of Catholic and other charities — a consi- 
deration which could not fail to be grateful to the benevolent 
mind and soothe the agonies of a sick bed. There was no legal 
obstacle to carrying their object into effect ; there was nothing 
to prevent their having a burying-ground out of the precincts 
of a town. It was true, there was a statute preventing the 
opening of a new burying-ground within the city, but that had 
no relation to particular religious sects. For very obvious rea- 
sons it applied to objects of health, and no clergyman could 
complain of the diminution of his revenues. 

In the reign of King James I. a clergyman, in a parish in 
London, brought an action against the friends of a person who 
died in his (the clergyman's parish), but was buried in another, 
when it was decided by the Ecclesiastical Court that the suit 
should not go on, and the Court of King's Bench granted a pro- 
hibition against the suit. He had reason to know that some 
very respectable and influential persons interested themselves in 
the present project, in order to prevent, as much as lay within 
their power, that constant irritation which it was the object of 
their enemies to create. 

One gentleman had waited upon him (Mr. O'Connell), and 
had offered him the fee simple of twenty acres of common, near 
Clondalkiu, and there might to that be attached a chapel, where 
the dead in that burying-ground would be prayed for, and 



244: SELECT SPEECHES OF 



around the ground might be built a wall, and with the constant 
watching of a sufficient number of persons, the remains of mor 
tality would be secure from being disturbed for the purposes for 
which they are at present used • and as the law gives the power, \ 
they could find no difficulty in getting sixty or seventy persons to 
subscribe £50 each, at the highest interest, for the purpose of 
enclosing the ground, building the chapel, &c., and that sum it i 
will not be necessary to pay but by instalments, and as they 
may be wanting, and the revenue of the ground could be handed 
over as a security. Even as a trading speculation, he conceived 
there would be no difficulty in obtaining a sufficient number of 
persons to undertake the speculation, when, if it be true that a 
single church-yard in Dublin produces .£2,000 a-year, and paid 
by nine-tenths of the inhabitants of Dublin, the establishment, 
he conceived, would have the effect of diminishing that revenue, 
which was not at present employed as it might be, and a certainty 
of directing it to meritorious purposes. 

The origin of churchyard fees (said the learned gentleman) 
was not a little curious, when it was sought to ezclude the Ca- 
tholics from those privileges established by their ancestors. In 
Catholic times the canon law guarded against the payment of 
churchyard fees, and they were considered an imposition ; but 
monasteries having churchyards attached to them, persons when 
dying directed they should be buried in them, and left money 
in order to have themselves prayed for ; but at the Reformation 
the monasteries were abolished, and the fees were continued. 



TITHES. 

" Mr. O'Connell gave notice of a motion for preparing a petition to Parlia- 
ment, praying the enactment of a law to compel the clergy to take their tithe in 
kind, particularly as related to potatoes, in which the miserable peasantry were 
considerably harassed and defrauded, the custom having been to leave every tenth 
ridge, or every tenth spade's length, for the tithe ; but by a recent decree of the 
court at Cashel, the peasant was obliged, in addition to giving so large a por- 
tion of his property, to have the labour of digging them also ; and such a griev- 
ance was this felt that Mr. Crotty, whom every body knew, and who Mr. Blacker 
so bedaubed with praises for what nobody could sell, was offered ten shillings 
with each lot, besides the tithe, and to take it in kind, which he refused. 



We should have inserted before, had we observed strict order of dates, an opinion of Mr 
O'Conneirs respecting the vexed question of Catholic funeral ceremonies in Protestant 
churchyards, -which appeared in the Dublin papers about the end of September. But tiie 
opinion has strict relevance to the speech which follows it here : — 



DANIEL O'CONXELL. E^., M.P. 



' .' ' ' • 

RIGHTS OF SEPULTURE. 

As opinion has been obtained from Mr. O'Connell on this qnestion, which, as it is one of \ 
very deer, interest, we lose no time in laying before the public : — 

There is no statute law preventing a Catholic priest from 
praying for a deceased Catholic in a churchyard. The mistake 
on this subject originated in a misapprehension (frequently a 
wilful one) of the statute of the wist an 1 22nd of the late king, 
cap. 24, sec. 8. But that section contains no prohibition. 

It is not, in itself, any enactment of a positive or affirmative 
nature. It operates merely by way of exception, and it simply ! 
deprives such Catholic priest as may a officiate at a funeral in \ 
t church or churchyard'' of the benefits conferred by that act. 

Now, no Catholic priest does at present want the benefit of ; 
that act at all. It is, in truth, now a dead letter, remaining, 
with much similar lumber, on the statute book — creating no | 
rights, constituting no privations, unless in its enactments, nu- 
gatory in its exceptions. 

The next question asked me is, whather the praying for the 
dead by a Catholic priest at a funeral or in a churchyard, is 
prohibited by the common law ? 

My answer is, that it is not. The Catholic religion had pre- 
existence in the common law ; it was adopted into the common 
law, as part and parcel of that law. So the law continued until 
what is called the Eeformation, in the reign of Henry VIII. 

The Catholic religion being thus part and parcel of the com- 
mon law, it follows, necessarily, that praying for the dead could 
not be prohibited either at funerals, in churchyards, or else- j 
where. On the contrary, it was at common law part of the 
duty of the priest, and he was bound to pray for the dead at 
funerals and in churchyards. And it was reciprocally one of I 
the rights of the king's subjects at common law to have prayers 
said for the dead, by Catholic priests, at funerals and in church- j 
yards. 

Thus, such prayers not being prohibited, but, on the contrary. | 
being enjoined at common law, and there being no statute to 
forbid such praying, it follows, as a matter of course, that no 
Catholic priest can be legally prevented from praying for a de- 
ceased Catholic at a funeral in a churchyard. 

The next question turns upon the mode of redress, should a 
Catholic priest be prevented from thus officiating. As to that— 



246 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



I am of opinion (but with some doubt) that an action would 
lie at the suit of the executors of the deceased against any per- 
son who prevented a Catholic priest from praying in the church- 
yard, over the body of their testator. 

But as I am unwilling to advise litigation where it may be 
avoided, I think the best remedy would be found in the peace- 
ful, but determined assertion of the right. Let the friends of 
the deceased peaceably surround the priest and the body during 
the service. Let any violence which may arise come from the 
'preventing parties, and then the individuals to whom that vio- 
lence may be used will have a distinct right of action, or may 
proceed by indictment against the persons who use force. 

In many counties there may be the natural and usual appre- 
hension that the magistrates, tinged (to speak moderately) with 
Orange, may not do strict justice to the Catholics on any occa- 
sion of this sort. In every such case, the indictment, as soon as 
found, should be removed by certiorari into the King's Bench, 
Dublin, where every body is sure of meeting impartial justice. 

If grand juries, acting on a similar bad feeling, throw out the 
bills of indictment, the Court of King's Bench, upon the making 
out, by affidavit, a proper case for that purpose, will grant a 
criminal information. 

Thus it will be found that there are abundant means for the 
Catholics to maintain this their undoubted right. I am de- 
cidedly of opinion that it ought to be asserted. The Catholics 
may as well at once abandon the tombs of their fathers and 
relatives, as submit to the petty and tyrannical bigotry which 
now seeks unjustly and illegally to deprive them, at moments of 
the greatest and most bitter sorrow, of the awful but melancholy 
consolations of their holy religion. 

I therefore repeat my decided opinion, that the Catholics 
have a right to these prayers, and that such right should be ex- 
erted with determination, but peaceably and without any illegal 
violence whatever. 

Daniel O'Connell. 

On Saturday, the 15th of November, the meeting of the Association was (by the reports 
by the newspapers) more numerously attended, and comprised more of the rank and wealth 
of the Catholic body, than upon any previous occasion. 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



247 



SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 15m, 1823. 

Edmokd Power, of Gurteen, County Tipperary, E&q., in the Chair. 

Mr. O'Connell, in presenting the report from the committee 
appointed to carry into effect the resolutions respecting the 
burial ground, hoped that from the terms of the resolution, it 
would not be understood that the graveyard was intended to be 
one for the exclusive use of Catholics ; for nothing could be 
further from their thoughts than a desire to follow the example 
of those who pursue their rancorous hostility towards Catholics 
even to the grave. 

In wishing to preserve the ashes of their relatives and friends 
from unfeeling indignity and insult, it was not their wish to do 
so by separating from their Protestant brethren, either in this 
or the next world. It was their duty as well as interest to pro- 
mote union, and dissipate irritation amongst Irishmen. It was 
upon that principle the Catholic Association was founded. It 
was their object to subvert that principle of perfidious persecu- 
tion so much at large through all the constituted authorities, 
from the highest officer to the commonest constable, merely 
because the Catholics adhere to a religion which they believe to 
be true. 

It was the interest and wish of the Catholic Association to 
abolish, as much as with them lay, all causes of domestic irrita- 
tion, at a time when England was about to be arrayed against 
a world of perfect despotism, in which kings were every thing, 
and the people nothing. It was equally the inclination as the 

| duty of the Catholics of Ireland to support that country which 
in Europe stands alone a bright exception to the rule of legiti- 
mate despotism, spite of Toryism and oligarchy, the progenitors 
of continental tyranny, and of that Machiavelian policy which, 
in France, prevented them from at once annihilating the rem- 
nant of liberty, in order the more effect ually to extinguish it 

' by frequent encroachments on the charter said to have been 
given by the king, as if it were not the people who create the 
king. 

The day of retribution had at length arrived to the English 
Tories. They must now fight for their places and pensions. 
They must fight for the cotton trade of England, or give up 
South America to the holy leaguers. To preserve their places, 
they must preserve English independence ; and to effect either, 



248 



SELECT SPEECHES OP 



English liberty must vanquish that monster of iniquity, legiti- 
mate despotism. 

To preserve their places, the Tory ministry must abandon the 
characteristic principle of their imbecile policy — injustice to 
Ireland. England cannot suffer her right arm (Ireland) to re- 
main paralyzed by sectarian persecutions and political degrada- 
tion. Ireland must not longer continue the point of England's 
weakness, instead of being a portion of her strength. Instead 
of turning her bayonets upon — he would not call them a discon- 
tented peasantry — but a disgusted and terrified population, 
England must hold out the hand of fellowship, and purchase, 
with equal laws and equal rights, that co-operation and that 
friendship, without which she cannot support her independence 
against holy leagues, divine rights, and monarchial despotism. 

The interests and objects of the Catholic Association (however 
they might be calumniated) were to effect that desirable change, 
by obtaining the abolition of Catholic grievances, which, if they 
could not remove in a mass, they might by fragments. He, 
therefore, would take them in detail, and commence with that 
one upon which a committee had prepared a report, which he 
should then have the honour of presenting. 

It was a subject upon which a Catholic of sensibility could 
hardly trust himself to speak in public ; for a man might suffer 
an injury to himself, but he (Mr. O'Connell) pitied the wretch 
who could tamely witness the bones of his friend trampled 
under the hoofs of Orangeism ; and he confessed he had no 
great reverence for the founder of such anti- Christian persecu- 
tion, however Doctor Magee might value the distinction. 

That learned prelate, when Dean of Cork, was the first who 
carried the persecution of Catholics to the extremity of insulting 
them when about to join their kindred earth ; but the priest, 
through whom the insult was to be conveyed, conscious that 
neither the legislature nor the Protestants would countenance 
the gratuitous and unfeeling indignity (hear, hear, from Colonel 
Butler), firmly but temperately refused compliance with the in- 
tolerant mandate ; and here he (Mr. O'Connell) would not omit 
repeating an anecdote connected with that occurrence. Doctor 
Magee upon that occasion went to the churchyard himself, for 
the purpose of prohibiting the clergyman to officiate, and when 
there, he saw a poor woman gathering dried leaves that had 
fallen from the trees. He inquired from her for what purpose 
wanted them, and when she informed him they were to sell 



DANIEL O'COXNELL, ESQ., M.P. 249 

for manure, he turned her out, and sent his own servant to 
gather them. 

There he acted legally ; no one could say otherwise, for the 
churchyard was his freehold, as some lawyers will have it, and 
he had an undoubted right to the leaves. He was left his right ; 
the leaves were his, but the Catholic corpse was not. He suc- 
ceeded there, because he ought to do so. He triumphed over | 
the old woman, but shrunk from the people who surrounded 
the funeral ; and while in Cork he no more attempted the in- 
sult, but in Dublin he revived it. 

To be sure, he was drinking the waters of Cheltenham when 
it was attempted in Dublin, and he, therefore, considered him- 
self authorized to deny to the people of England that he had 
any participation in the outrage ; but had he denied it in Dub- 
lin ? He (Mr. O'Connell) wished most sincerely that he could 
do so. No man would be more ready to give him credit for it, 
and the prelate would thereby redeem himself from an attempt 
to create more serious discontent amongst the people of Ireland, 
than any other occurrence since the infamous violation of the 
treaty of Limerick. 

The committee had endeavoured to perform the duty com- 
mitted to them on the subject of a burial ground, and their 
first consideration was the law of the case ; and if his legal re- 
putation was of any value to him, he would pledge it, that there 
was no point of law to prevent their having burying grounds. 

Having ascertained that necessary preliminary, their next 
object was, whether they could procure the ground wanted ; and 
upon inquiry they found many pieces of ground, of three or 
four acres, in different situations, and within such distances of 
the city as would answer their purpose. It had been commu- i 
nicated to them that burial grounds in several directions, and 
in proportion to the population of the district, would be more 
advantageous than one general burial ground for the city. The | 
committee were of opinion that upon a subject requiring so 
much information, and in order to carry it fully into effect in j 
the way most advantageous, the committee should have power 
| to add to their number, and also to request the co-operation of 
Doctor Murray. 

The following was their 

REPORT. 

"Your committee have endeavoured diligently to attend to the 
duty committed to them. They have entered zealously into the 



250 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



views of the Association. They have felt it a pleasing duty to 
assist in calming the public mind, agitated by a species of per- 
secution novel in its nature, and afflicting in its application. 
They have been desirous to take away this new subject of irri- 
tation, which has been unhappily introduced in our times, as if 
the Catholics were not already sufficiently afflicted, or as if it 
were not deemed sufficient to oppress and degrade the living, 
without offering insult and outrage to the dead. 

" We, Catholics, have been deeply anxious to obviate this new 
source of animosity and resentment. Our first wish has ever 
been to reconcile our countrymen of all denominations. We 
wish to live on terms of amity and affection with our Protestant 
fellow-countrymen. We earnestly desire to be united with 
them in our lives, and not to be separated from them in 
death. 

u But there is a different spirit abroad. Men who call them- 
selves ministers of the God of charity, and who receive the 
good things of this world in great abundance for making that 
profession, have clothed themselves in the garb of the demon 
of discord, and have exercised a vicious ingenuity, in order to 
discover a new method of outraging the feelings of a religious 
and faithful people. They have gone beyond the letter, or even 
the spirit of the penal code, and have found out another mode 
of persecution, which the laws of man cannot sanction, and the 
laws of charity must condemn. 

" Under these circumstances, we have felt it our duty as faith- 
ful subjects, anxious to maintain public peace and private tran- 
quillity, to devise means of avoiding these occasions of irrita- 
tion or violence. The genius of bigotry has deprived us, in this 
our native land, of our fair and just share in the administration 
of municipal and public trusts. We have been and are unjustly 
deprived of our station as freemen, because of our adherence to 
the religion of our ancestors ; and now we are obliged to quit 
the tombs of those ancestors, and abandon the melancholy con- 
solation of laying our bones with theirs, and relinquish all hope 
of ever resting in the same spot with them, because of our 
anxiety to preserve peace, and avoid the occasions of ill-will^ of 
hatred, and of strife. 

" Animated by these sentiments, your committee has entered 
upon the performance of its duties. It is enabled with CDnfi- 
dence to state : — 

" First. — That there are no legal obstacles to prevent the Ca- 
tholics from acquiring two or more tracts of land, in the vicinage 



DANIEL O'COXXELL, ESQ., M.P. 



251 



of Dublin, for the purpose of converting them into burial 
grounds. 

" Secondly. — That there are no practical difficulties in the way 
of procuring sufficient quantities of land for this purpose. 

" Your Committee next beg leave to recommend to the Asso- 
ciation, either to continue the present Committee, with aug- 
mented numbers, or to appoint a new and enlarged Committee, 
in order to carry into practical effect the present object. 

" "We take leave to suggest that the new Committee should be 
directed to solicit, in the most respectful manner, the co-ope- 
ration of his Grace the Archbishop, the Most Rev. Doctor 
Murray, and of the Catholic rectors of the several parishes in 
this city, and to arrange with these reverend personages the best 
mode of raising the necessary funds, and of appointing proper 
trustees, and of arranging all the details which will be found 
necessary to effectuate our purpose with expedition and security. 

"As we have reason to be convinced that the necessary funds 
can easily be procured, we deem it right to suggest, that the 
Committee should be authorized immediately to advertise for 
quantities of land, in parcels of not less than two, and not more 
than three acres ; such parcels to be all situate within two 
miles, in any direction, of the Castle of Dublin. 

'•And this we respectfully submit as our report. 

••Daniel O'Coxxell. Chairman. 

"loth November, 1823/' 

Mr. O'Gobmah (Secretary) reminded Mr. O'Connell of three notices, saved 
for him from the last day : — tithes ; the extension of the Association ; and the 
appointment of a co mmi ttee to procure evidence in support of the petition, to be 
presented by Earl Grey, upon the administration of justice in Ireland 

Mr. Coxway thought the tithe subject might be put off, as it was to be con- 
sidered next session of parliament. 

Mr. O'Conkell was of opinion that the reason given by Mr. 
Conway for not entertaining the question, was only one why 
they should petition, not against the bill, but the principle 
upon which it was founded. 

The bill was impracticable, and its provisions excessively op- 
pressive. The most galling and serious grievance of the "tithe ' 
system was, the inability of the peasant to oblige the clergyman 
to receive his tithe in kind. If there was such a provision, the 
peasant would escape the fangs of the tithe proctor ; but that 
would not serve the purposes of the rapacious gentry who live 
by the commotions of discontent of the lower orders. " 



252 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



That he (Mr. O'Connell) was not exaggerating, ho referred to 
the instance of the well-known Parson Morrit, who was offered, 
by the peasantry of Skibbereen, his tithe in kind, with ten shil- 
lings an acre, which he refused. What he (Mr. O'Connell) had 
stated was given in evidence upon oath, before a committee of 
the House of Commons, and was not refuted by any one. 

Within a few days, a most extraordinary instance of the un- 
accommodating and heartless spirit with which tithes are exacted 
from the peasantry, had come to his knowledge personally. He 
was not then at liberty to mention the name of the gentleman 
from whom he had received the information ; but if it were neces- 
sary, he could do so in a few days. He (Mr. O'Connell) had 
been written to by a gentleman from the country, who stated 
that a Parson Morgan, of his parish, had received £1,200 per 
annum, in compensation for a portion of his tithes ; and in con- 
sequence, he (the writer) had served the parson with a notice to 
take his tithe t in kind (as Mr. Scully had advised). But the 
parson refused taking the tithe in kind, because being corn, and 
owing to the state of the weather, it had been stacked, instead of 
leaving it on the ground, where in a few days it would have been 
rotted ! 

The writer, in order not to furnish the parson with any excuse, 
had, when giving him notice, taken care to pull down the stack, 
and give him his choice ; but as the corn had been in stack, the 
parson refused taking it, and, in consequence, cited the gentle- 
man, who was determined to fight him out, for the benefit of hi? 
Catholic tenantry. 

Yet these are the men who bewail the turbulence, and depre- 
cate the discontents of the Irish peasantry, who harassed under 
such paltry pretences, as that the tithes were saved for the parson, 
are occasionally driven to excesses, whose consequences none feel 
more heavily than themselves. 

He (Mr. O'Connell) was not sorry the new tithe bill had passed, 
for it afforded an opportunity to touch upon what was long re- 
garded as a prohibited subject, and an invasion of the Church's 
rights. They (the Catholics) could now expose to the English 
nation, and to Europe, the oppressions of those, who, through the 
medium of the vilest press that ever cursed a country, exclaim 
against Irish civilization and Catholic agitation. 

It was not possible to conceive a more fruitful source of litiga- 
tion and oppression than was the tithe system. The common 
and the ecclesiastical law, instead of being applied to the pre- 
servation of the mutual rights of the parson and the peasant, 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



were transformed into the instruments of oppression against the 
latter ; for by the ecclesiastical law, a notice to the clergyman is 
necessary to oblige him to take his tithe in kind ; but the com- 
mon law says no notice is necessary ; and that species of tithe, 
in which the peasant is most interested, is left without the pro- 
tection of any statutable provision. 

Every clergyman cites him to the ecclesiastical court, where 
he has very little chance of succeeding ; and if proceeded against 
by civil bill, he must abide the decision, not certainly of the par- 
sera, but frequently of the tithe owner. But then* the peasant is 
told, he has his remedy, by — an appeal to the Court of King's 
£ench,for a prohibition ! ! I Certainly a splendid remedy for a 
poor peasant ! But as Horne Tooke once replied to Lord Ken- 
ton, when the latter told him, " there was law in England for the 
poor as well as the rich'' — " so the London Tavern is open, but 
who will get anything to eat in it without money V 

It would, however, be well for the peasant to know, that under 
the 12th of Geo. II L, if the clergyman was served with forty- 
eight hours' notice to draw away his tithe in kind, he could not 
complain of its being stacked, nor demand payment in lieu ; 
but even that act was found to be unavailable, when its pro- 
visions were to be decided upon in the ecclesiastical or civil 
bill courts, for where three villages had given notice to the same 
clergyman in one day, the courts decided that was proof of com- 
bination ! 

Lord Eldon once told General Matthew, when that point was 
brought before the consideration of the house, that it was impos- 
sible so great an absurdity could ever have been ruled in a court 
where rational beings presided : and afterwards the practice had 
been almost generally discontinued ; but to his (Mr. O'C.'s) know - 
ledge, it still partially existed. With such inveterate hostility was 
the peasant pursued by the preachers of Christianity, that where 
the cause might be decided by civil bill, at a small expense, it is most j 
generally brought into the ecclesiastical court, where the assistant- j 
barrister is frequently vicar-general. Without any disparage- 
ment, he would say of the office of assistant-barrister, admitting 
generally the integrity and capacity of the gentlemen who pre- ! 
side in these courts, that if a system to promote perjury, and j 
the most dangerous immorality were intended, he doubted if it j 
could so well succeed in that object as by means of this jurisdic* | 
tion. 

In the trial by jury, a bonus is given to witnesses to preserve ; 
their character — for an honest man's testimony will be received 



254: 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



in opposition to twenty men of bad reputation ; but in the as- 
sistant-barrister's court, it sometimes happens that the man whc 
swears most has most credit. The conscientious witness will 
hesitate to go further than his belief, if he is not morally sure ; 
but the perjurer, if not at first up to the necessary point, when 
questioned by the assistant-barrister, is soon brought just within 
the requisite length to justify the barrister's decree. If he bean 
honest barrister, he is either confounded by the swearing of 
numbers on one side, or is delicate in deciding upon his single 
opinion, against the oaths of many, upon the testimony of one. 
But amongst twelve men that difficulty does not exist ; for they 
each keep the other in countenance. Many wise men have 
thought it would be better that no tribunal should exist for the 
recovery of small debts ; and that those who gave such credits 
incautiously, should lose them, rather than such a facility should 
be given for abusing the solemn appeal to the God of Truth. 

Before he concluded upon the subject of tithes, he would 
mention a new hardship to which the peasant would be liable, 
if the principle contended for by Parson Morgan were estab- 
lished. 

When tithes were received in kind, it was considered sufficient 
the peasant should leave every tenth ridge, or tenth spade, and 
send notice when about to remove his portion ; but if he is to 
forfeit his right to pay in kind, because he should have previously 
taken any off the ground before serving notice, then he must 
daily call upon the clergyman before he has dug his daily por- 
tion for the use of his family. The peasant begins to dig his 
potatoes, for his own use, in July, and continues till November, 
when he gets them in for the winter. 

Mr. O'Connell then moved, that on that day week a committee 
should be appointed to prepare a petition to parliament, pray- 
ing for an act to oblige the clergyman to take his tithe in kind, 
when in potatoes; and that the old mode of serving notice, 
when removing the crop, shall be sufficient. 

The Hon. Colonel Butler spoke in support of Mr. O'Conndls opinions, 
and cited some cases of hardship. 

Mr. Scanlan objected to the taking up of the tithe question by the Associa- 
tion ; as being thus made what might be called a party grievance, the co-opera- 
tion of others aggrieved by it, but differing from them in other matters, could 
not be obtained. 

Mr. Dwyer supported Mr. Scanlan's views ; expressing at the same time his 
belief that to meddle with the tithe question "would rouse the jealousy of the 
Protestant mind." 

Mr. O'Connell, in reply to the gentleman who had spoken 



DANIEL o'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



255 



against the motion, observed that their objection was rather 
to its form than substance. 

No man could be called the friend of the Irish peasantry, who 
would not seek to mitigate the horrors of the tithe system, 
which they did not hesitate to censure amongst themselves; nor 
should the Catholics be dismayed by intelligence (which did not 
require the respectable authority of Mr. Dwyer to confirm,) that 
Orange malignity would be increased by Catholics touching upon 
the subject of tithes. 

The Catholics had suffered grievously by their apathy; but it 
was an experiment, and the consequence was that bigotry reared 
its thousand heads, and the genius of sectarian persecution 
stalked forth at noon-day. The Catholic question retrograded. 
Grey, Bennett, and Denman, the champions of reform, joined 
the ranks of Orangemen in persecuting the Irish Attorney- 
General, who was abused because he had honestly and fearlessly 
advocated religious liberty in Ireland. 

The Catholics had no reason to fear the secession of their Pro- 
testant friends, because they (the Catholics) grappled boldly with 
their oppressors — nor had they to dread opposition from Eng- 
land, the parent of freedom, who, when she saw men emulous 
to prove themselves worthy of being her sons, would cheer them 
in their course. 

There was not an honest man in the country that would re- 
fuse his support to the association, because they had extended 
their minds to do good to all, to universal utility, and not con- 
fine their efforts to sectarian grievances. 

The opposition was then withdrawn, and the motion passed unanimously. 
In pursuance of it, Mr. O'Connell moved for his committee upon Saturday, the 21st oi 
Norember, being the day of adjournment. 



SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 21st, 1823. 

Counsellor Fitzsimox in the Chair. 

Mr. O'Conxell, in rising to move for the appointment of the j 

Committee to prepare the petition to parliament for an act to | 

facilitate the mode of offering tithe in kind, felt great pleasure | 

in being able to state, that no measure of the Catholic Associa- 1 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



tion was likely to give such general satisfaction, as a petition 
upon the subject of tithes. 

Since he last mentioned the subject, he had learned that the 
difficulties from the clergyman's refusal of tithe in kind, were 
not confined to the south of Ireland, but existed also in Lein- 
ster ; and that Protestant as well as Catholic smarted from 
the tortures of the tithe system. 

The Eev. Mr. Morgan, of whom he made mention upon the 
last occasion, was resolved to persevere in his refusal of taking 
tithe in kind, though no less than thirty persons had left it for 
him, in all whom he served citations to the Bishop's Court. He 
(Mr. O'Connell) had his information from a most respectable 
professional gentleman named Carr, of Wexford, and who had 
authorized him to make use of his name, and refer to the facts 
in any petition to parliament. When the thirty persons, cited 
by Mr. Morgan, attended the court, one of the surrogates, Dr. 
Elgee, was absent, owing to a recent family affliction — his father 
had died a few days before. Of this circumstance the thirty 
I persons were not apprised, and they had brought with them 
| three hundred witnesses. The grief and affliction of Dr. Elgee, 
every one would give him credit for. He could not (it was said 
upon the opening of the court) take his seat, and the other sur- 
rogate refused to hear a single cause in his brother judge's ab- 
sence, though Mr. O'Dogherty, king's counsel and recorder of 
Waterford, was brought down specially by Mr. Carr, upon a 
fee of thirty guineas. 

Suddenly, it was found that Dr. Elgee's grief had subsided, 
and that he would sit ; and upon his doing so, how did he pro- 
i ceed to business ? Why, by calling on a case to which there 
was no appearance ! It was the case of a gentleman, named 
Frizell, who, from some particular cause, could not appear perso- 
nally, but by his attorney, who had paid five guineas to a proc- 
tor for permission to use his name. Upon Dr. Elgee's being told 
who appeared for Mr. Frizell, he inquired had he (the attorney) 
his proxy (a form of appointing a proctor's proxy), for no at- 
torney will be permitted to practise in a bishop's court, unless 
he has gone to the expense of qualifying as a proctor. Well, 
there was no proxy ; and the attorney who had paid the five 
guineas to the proctor would not be heard, and as soon as the 
doctor had despatched Mr. Frizell and his five guineas, he grew 
sorrowful again ; his grief returned, and it was impossible he 
could hear Mr. Dogherty, the king's counsel, on the part of 
thirty persona attended by three hundred witnesses. 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



257 



The effect of the doctor's grief having subsided was the dis- 
missal of the counsel at thirty guineas, the attorney at five 
guineas, and the three hundred and thirty persons who attended 
at the loss of their time ; and the only case he would hear wa* 
the one in which there was no appearance. 

He (Mr. 0*C.) submitted, could there be anything conceived 
more cruel than the operation of a machine that moved by such 
a system. 

Mr. O'Connell then moved the appointment of the committee, 
when the following gentlemen were nominated : — 

Messrs. Shiel, Ronayne, MuUen, Clinch.. John M'Donnell, Lynch, and Corley, with the 
mover and seconder. 

Mr. Shiel then brought forward and spoke to a motion for " a Committee to 
devise the necessary measures for recovering, through the medium of the existing 
laws, the Catholics' rights to admission into Protestant corporations." 

Counsellor Ronayne (the late Dominick Ronayne, M.P. for Clonmel) 
seconded the motion. 

Mr. O'Connell, before the question was put in the negative, 
begged to observe, that it was now thirty years since Catholics 
became entitled to the freedom of the city, and yet there was no 
instance of a Catholic having that privilege from the Corpora- 
tion. 

He could with confidence assure the Catholics there was no 
legal obstacle to their possessing and exercising that right ; but 
whenever he had mentioned it, he found the most disgraceful 
apathy prevail, and sometimes the objection started that is now 
occasionally urged, namely, to confine themselves to seeking for 
general emancipation by the hacknied mode of an annual peti- 
tion. 

He at one time called a meeting of respectable Catholic mer- 
chants and others at a place, not that where the Catholics were 
used to assemble. They all appeared sensible of the importance 
of the object, talked a great deal, but did nothing — and at 
length he (Mr. G'C.) disgusted at such inertness, set about and 
discovered a Catholic named Cole, who was qualified to claim 
his freedom. He (Mr. O'C.) commenced legal proceedings, and 
Mr. Costello, as an attorney, lent his assistance ; whilst he (Mi; 
O'C.) was seconded at the bar by Mr. Woulfe. He (Mr. O'C.) 
paid the expenses ; and just as they had attained their point in 
the King's Bench, poor Cole died, and upon that occasion, Sir 
Harcourt Lees announced in his paper, that Providence had 
specially interfered to preserve the Corporation from the contami- 
nation of Popery, by the admission of a Catholic amongst them. 
vol fi r 



253 



SELECT SPEECHES OP 



Ifc was not like the recent miracles by which persons were 
restored from infirmity to health ; but in this it was a trans- 
ference from health to death. This was one of Sir Harcourf 
Lee's miracles ; a transformation not at all unlikely to result 
from Orange contact. Such miracles are of frequent occur- 
rence in the North of Ireland. 

There were, however, at present five individuals who were 
qualified for claiming their freedom, which was of great prac- 
tical utility to the Catholic cause ; and he trusted the question 
would not be permitted to sleep through the criminal indiffe- 
rence of some, and the inefficient support of others ; who by 
their occasional co-operation and long abstraction from Ca- 
tholic affairs, practically combine with the enemy ; and who, 
though they may not have any great portion of talent, yet by 
keeping it neutral, take from the support of the Catholics, and 
consequently aid the opposition to their endeavours for Eman- 
cipation. 

After a speech from Mr. Hugh Connor, Mr. Shiel's motion was put from the 
Chair, and unanimously passed. 

Messrs. Mullen, Ford, David Lynch, and Counsellors Hayes and M'Laughlin, 
were, by him, appomted as the Committee. 

Mr. O'Connell then stated that he should, upon the next day of meeting move 
I — " That the association do meet daily, for one fortnight, in the month of Janu- 
j ary next, for the despatch of business, previously to the next session of parlia- 
ii^ent." 



SATURDAY, 29th NOVEMBER, 1823. 
O'Conor Don in the Chair. 

The secretary announced that the Right Rev. Dr. Murray had been pleased to accede to 
the request of the Churchyard Committee, for his patronage, advice, and co-operation. 
The routine business being gone through-— 

Mr. O'Connell stated, that the Committee appointed to de- 
vise measures for asserting the Catholics' right of freedom into 
corporations, had already discovered upwards of a hundred Ca- 
tholics entitled to their freedom ; and it was intended, if the 
corporation offered any litigious opposition to their admittance, 
to try a few cases, in all of which the corporations, if defeated, 
will have to pay the costs, and thereby goacl them in the ten- 
derest point. 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 259 

Perhaps it was not a little curious, that one of the persons 
found entitled to the freedom was a namesake of his (Mr. O'C.'s) 
own, but that he wanted the Milesian distinction of " 0." 
However, as he (Mr. O'C.) was one of the leaders of the clan, he 
would present him with the " 0," upon his being made free of 
the city (laughter). 

Mr. O'Connell then moved for the appointment of a commit- 
tee to collect and furnish the facts necessary to support the pe- 
tition to be presented to the House of Lords, by Earl Grey, on 
the administration of justice in Ireland. Mr. O'Connell ob- 
served, that when a similar petition had been presented in the 
House of Commons, the enemies of Ireland manfully encoun- 
| tered it by such general pleading as that no facts were stated in 
j support of the allegations. Terrific as the exposures in the pe- 
| tition were, to high authorities, it would have been easy for the 
j Association to have completed their effect by a statement of 
I facts, had they thought it expedient so to do. 

Indeed, it was thought to be so perfectly notorious and well- 
j known, at least to the Irish members, that in one province of 
| [reland, no Catholic had a chance of obtaining justice when op- 
j posed to an Orangeman, as made it unnecessary on the part of 
the Association to do more than allude generally to magisterial 
delinquency, without punishing a second time those already 
convicted ; or by dragging those forward who had escaped ; and 
thereby harrowing up individual feelings, and throw around 
fchem the shield of partizan protection ; and they thought it a 
sufficient confirmation of their charges that the corruption of 
justice, by factious interference, and the foul spirit of party 
passions, had been denounced from the bench ; and in one in- 
stance by a judge of assize ; not professing an over great affec- 
tion for Catholics. 

While in their petition they studiously excluded any allusion 
to the superior courts, they thought it sufficient to refer to the 
known prevalence of a system of magisterial corruption and 
oppression. 

Here the learned gentleman instanced the late Leinster 
Circuit, as affording abundant proofs of the iniquitous adminis- 
tration of justice, and congratulated the county that at length 
juries were found who dared to be honest, and with whose 
verdicts the judges (with one exception) had honestly, faith- 
fully, and fearlessly concurred. That those guilty magistrates 
had been dragged to the bar of public justice was owing to the 
voluntary exertions of some Catholic attorneys, who, at great 



SCO 



J" 

SELECT SPEECHES OP 



personal sacrifices, undertook the good work. The learned 
gentleman also stated, that when their petition on the admi- 
nistration of justice should be next presented to parliament, 
the abettors of corruption would be confounded by a well 
authenticated fact, that in one instance lately, a sub -sheriff of 
a county stated the price to be given for an acquiescing jury. 

He then adverted to the corruption of courts of inferior 
jurisdiction, of corporations, manor courts, courts of conscience, 
&e., where conscience remains at the doors, but never goes in ; 
and he hoped the magistrates of Cork, who were honest, would 
not be displeased when he stated that there never was such a 
perversion of justice as in their local courts and alderman's 
wards, where law was administered in small doses, and bad com- 
pounds. It was also well known that in many instances the 
verdicts of juries were regulated by the complement of whiskey 
agreed, or expected to be given to them previous to their names 
being entered on the panel. 

As to chairmen of counties, and assistant-barristers, he did 
not mean to speak disrespectfully of, but still less did he mean 
to praise them. There were many of them most respectable 
in private life ; but he hardly knew an instance of their having 
risen to their seats until it was found they never could rise if 
left to themselves. There was (continued Mr. O'C.) a period 
when the Irish bar shone as the brightest meteor in the firma- 
ment of national independence. As professional men, they 
must of course be occasionally on the wrong side, but formerly 
they gave the tone and spirit to public feeling, because they 
gloried in the avowal of patriotism, and dared to be honest; 
but though lately, the power of the bench had neutralized the 
good feeling of the bar, there was a portion of it (happily for 
Ireland) that could not be purchased. Many were the in- 
stances of men of learning and talent, whose professional 
career has been impeded owing to their liberality of politics. 
There was one instance known to all, where a respected, admired, 
and able man had been made to feel the force of judicial hosti - 
lity — not because he had taken an active part on the side of 
patriotism, but because he stood neutral. When he (Mr. O'C.) 
assailed by the power of the crown, threw himself upon the 
generosity of the bar, he found no kindred response — no pro- 
fessional sympathy — no cheering voice, nor helping hand ; no, 
he found them like a nest of vipers, but that they did not hiss, 
because they dared not. 

Mr. O'Connell concluded by expressing his opinion, as that of 



DANIEL o'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



261 



every Catholic he had spoken to on the subject, that no Catholic 
can safely go to trial on life or property in Dublin, whore the 
opposite party has any connexion with the corporation, or cor- 
poration's friends. 

He also commented on the late revision of the magistracy, 
particularly in the county of Cork, where one gentleman of 
large property, and who never interfered in politics, was de- I 
prived of the commission of the peace, merely because he 
lived in the neighbourhood of a magistrate who was desirous of 
reigning alone in magisterial sovereignty. Mr. O'Connell then 
moved for the appointment of a committee to collect such fact9 
as may be useful in support of the petition to be presented by 
Earl Grey. 

Mr. Hugh O'Connor suggested, that in any petition to be presented to par- 
liament upon Catholic grievances, it should not be omitted to dwell particn arly 
upon the hardship to Catholic commercial men of being excluded from any par- 
ticipation in the management of the Bank of Ireland He supported the propo- 
sition in a speech of some length, and was seconded by Nicholas Mahon. 

Mr. O'Connell was of opinion that Catholics were eligible to 
be Bank Directors. 

But he conceived the reason the Catholics had not heretofore 
exerted themselves in support of their rights, was from an im- 
pression that they were not so, and that they, therefore, did 
not care to create enemies, when they thought they could 
not succeed. 

The impression was entirely a mistake, in his opinion ; and 
he for one would spare no effort to prove it so. Men should 
help themselves, and not stand waiting for what would 
never come — the voluntary concessions of those interested in 
keeping matters as they were. Those who enjoyed the mono- 
poly would never surrender it, till the iron arm of the law 
should absolutely wrest it from them. 

He would advise a specific application to the legislature in the 
next session, for the passing of a law declaratory of the Ca- 
tholic's privilege to become Bank Directors . The Catholics 
need not expect that the Directors will ever voluntarily act 
otherwise than as a worthy mayor of Limerick once did, who, 
when there were two parties in the corporation, and lie was bil- 
leting soldiers, took care not to billet any upon his own party ; an d 
when accused of the injustice, he declared he had acted with 
the greatest impartiality ; for he billetted as many soldiers' 
families as he could — upon the Papists J 



262 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



Mb. O'Connor was then advised to refer the subject to a committee, which 

he accordingly consented to do. 

The Chairman (O'Conob Don), before leaving the chair, begged to offer a few 
words to the consideration of the meeting. 

There was nothing he had heard that day of which he disapproved, bnt per- 
haps "their objects would be as well attained by the publication of resolutions, 
instead of furnishing their enemies with matter for animadversion, bv their 
speeches ! _ 

He mstanced the Catholic Convention in 1793, when the Most Rev. Dr. Troy 
so often presided ; and the Catholic clergy united with the body of the people in 
their labours for Emancipation. He regretted he did not see the clergy now 
coming forward in like manner ; and he thought the interests of the Catholics 
would be better promoted by parish meetings, where the people could take a more 
general share in the management of then cause, and where they could be as- 
sisted by the discretion, intelligence, and advice of their clergy. 

He merely threw out these suggestions for the consideration of those better 
qualified to judge of their bearing than he himself. 

Mr. O'Connell observed that there was no disunion of sentiment between 
tie clergy and the people. 

The clergy were members of the Association, as a matter of right, and without 
payment. As to the convention of Catholics in 1793, just alluded to, if the 
Catholics had then succeeded, it was because the convention was a delegated 
body, who, if they had not the legislative, had the national sanction. Their 
proceedings had a moral force, and their measures were guided with an energy 
and an effect that forced from an alarmed ministry those rights which the Ca- 
tholics at present enjoy. 

After this the meeting adjourned. 



THE DUBLIN EVENING MAIL. 

Upon the 2nd of December, Mr. O'Connell had to attend a meeting of the Dublin Library 
Society, where, on the occasion of a motion for expelling the Dublin Evening Mail news- 
paper, for some articles passing the license of a public journal, he had occasion to make 
some touching allusions to the great sorrow of his life. 

Mr. O'Connell said that however the Society might differ 
Upon politics ; however strong their inclination to polemics ; 
yet there were principles with which he hoped they all concur- 
red, as men — as Christians. 

It was contrary to all the laws of war, civilized or savage, to 
poison water from which an enemy might drink ; and he put it 
to them whether that which a savage Indian would not tolerate, 
should be permitted by the Dublin Library Society ? — whether 
they would sanction in political warfare the introduction of the 
poisoned arrows of malicious slander and personal calumny ? 
Could they not differ upon politics or religion 1 — could they not 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



2G3 



argue upon the merits of Whig and Tory, without defaming the 
unoffending wife, or injuring the innocent child 1 Could they 
not discuss those matters with the dignity belonging to freemen, 
and not with the rancour of desperate villany ] The learned 
gentleman still felt proud, that however successful a few factious 
journals had been in Ireland in attaining the style demoniacal, 
yet the honor of originality belonged to their neighbours, the 
Scotch, as exemplified in Blackwood's Magazine, which the 
Dublin Library Society had had the virtue and manliness to 
exnel, not because of its politics, but for a departure from 
legitimate argument, and the adoption of virulence and ca- 
lumny. 

The London John Bull was the offspring of Blackwood's Ma- 
gazine, and from thence it spread to Dublin — to the journal of 
Sir Harcourt Lees, who resembled a bottle of soda-water, lively 
and brisk, without spirit. The contagion of Scotch malignity 
spread its pestiferous infection to Dublin, where the Mail, under 
its baneful influence, breathed envenomed censure upon the j 
characters of a class of men who devote their lives, and often j 
meet their death, in the sublimest walks of charity. Would ! 
the Society, by continuing the Mail, verify the appellation ol 
the members, who were described by it as apes and monkeys ? 
— or would they, by discarding it, show the vain imbecile that 
their appetites were not yet so depraved, nor their stomachs sc 
diseased, as to relish the carrion and garbage with which the 
Mail fed them 1 

He looked upon the members of the Society as gentlemen — j 
he hoped they were Christians — and he trusted they would not 
Sanction an opinion that the god of discord and the spirit of 
slander were the objects of their private devotions. If the 
Orangemen thought well of their own cause, surely they did not 
require the aid of such a creature as the M ail. To be sure, it 
might be a recommendation that it abused him (Mr. O'Connell), 1 
and that in the last number it accused him of want of courage. 
But would to God the Mail had more cause to taunt him with 
that failing ! Would to heaven that in escaping with his own 
life he had not given a too sad but convincing proof that he did j 
not want courage ! 

He would now give up the pleasures of his life and liberty, 
could the sacrifice expiate that fatal act of self-defence. [Here 
Mr. O'Connell became so much affected, as to be incapable of 
utterance for seme time, during which the applause was more 
fervent and general than we ever recollect to have witnessed in 



264 SELECT SPEECHES OF 

any assembly. Several gentlemen, his political opponents, were 
among the most warm applauders.J 



CATHOLIC ASSOCIATION. 
Saturday, 27th December. 
TITHE BILL. 

Mr. O'Cgnnell rose to move, upon his notice for the prepar- 
ing of a petition to parliament for the repeal of the Tithe Com- 
mutation Bill. 

That measure, he said, had been generally complained of 
throughout the country, and the more it was understood, the 
more it was likely to meet public disfavour. It was not because 
there was any want of mischievous provisions in the original 
tithe system, but because the remedy prescribed was found worse 
than the disease. 

That very respectable gentleman, Mr. Lid well — than whom 
there was no individual better qualified to form an opinion upon 
the merits of the bill — had with much force and effect demon- 
strated the evil tendency of the measure • but though dis- 
satisfied with it, he was not content without also making known 
the hardships of the tithe system, which reminded him of the 
familiar story of the soldier who was dissatisfied with the drum- 
mer, when Hogging him, whether he hit him high or low. 

It was not his (Mr. O'Connell's) wish to lay blame where it 
was not deserved, but it was hardly possible to cite a stronger 
proof of incompetency for office than was furnished by the Tithe 
Commutation Bill, and which was the offspring of Mr. Coul- 
burn's legislative function. Mr. Coulburn was, he believed, an 
amiable man in private life, but he was of opinion that his upper 
story was excessively ill-furnished. Indeed, it followed that a 
man who came to this country for the purpose of perpetuating 
Catholic exclusion, must necessarily be devoid of those qualities 
requisite for a legislator or statesman. 

Mr. O'Connell then proceeded to review the several sections 
of the bill. 

The twenty- first section of the act provided that if the com- 
missioners thought fit, they might direct a surve} 7 of the parish; 
or if they thought fit, they might not do so ; or if there was an 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P 



263 



old survey of the parish, they might make use of it. The at* 
surdity of such a provision was evident to a man of the meanest 
capacity : it was no more than if the legislature declared that 
men might use their own eyes, or spectacles ; and provided that, 
should they have an old pair, they might or might not use them, 
iust as they chose. But such was generally the case with acts 
of parliament, particularly those originating with the govern- 
ment ; and the difficulty of understanding them was always 
occasioned by the extreme quantity of verbiage with which they 
were encumbered, and increased by the legal prohibition against 
punctuation in records, though every man's experience must 
convince him, that where a long sentence occurs in that way. 
it is impossible to affix a definite meaning. 

This, however, was called the wisdom of our English ancestors, to 
which modern legislators pertinaciously adhere, instead of adopt- 
ing a single, distinct proposition, expressed in such terms as 
every man could understand, and as was practised by every other 
nation in the world. Of this we have a perfect example in the 
celebrated " Code Napoleon," it being perfectly intelligible even 
to those of the most moderate capacity, though they might not 
agree in the principle. But our anxiety appeared to be, that 
no man should attempt to explain or understand an act of par- 
liament but a lawyer ; and when it chanced to be intelligible, 
lawyers were found to enshroud it in mystery and doubt. 

Those were trivial hardships in the Tithe Commutation 
Bill, compared to the substantial grievances that he should 
point out. 

It was bad enough that, under the old tithe system, the clergy 
were in possession of two millions of green acres, and that such 
an anomaly should exist as the richest Church with the poorest 
people, who contribute to its support for the accommodation of 
the few. He (Mr. O'Connell) was anxious that any legislative 
measure upon the subject of tithes should have for its object 
the diminishing, and not increasing, the burthens upon the peo- 
ple. He should like to see the Church sufficiently but reason- 
ably provided for, as might be effected by allowing to archbishops 
the same salary as chief-justices, namely, five thousand five hun- 
dred pounds per annum ; to bishops, the salary of judges, four 
thousand per annum ; and inferior clergy, four hundred per 
annum — being the same salary as assistant-barristers and chair- 
men of counties, who give much more labour for what they 
receive than do the clergy. His wish would be to see ample 
provision made for all, instead of the pauperism of many, and 



SELECT kflfLisJOHES OF 



the overgrown wealth of a few — such as the Archbishop of 
Armagh, having from fifteen to twenty thousand per annum. 
The late primate, a Scotchman, was but from eight to twelve 
years in his primacy, and yet he managed to carry to England 
three hundred thousand pounds ! 

Now, if this was an age of political economy, and that the 
English were the wise and thinking people they were repre- 
sented, he could satisfy them, from example and fact, how they 
might have been saved enormous sums, paid for the performance 
of duties which bear no proportion to the salaries. Doctor 
Troy, Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, performed the duties of 
his office for thirty years for no more than eight hundred per 
annum ; yet he maintained his dignity full as respectably, and 
did five times the work of the prelate, took quite as good care 
of his Church, made as many converts, and lost as few pro- 
selytes as the primate. He died not worth a penny, and still 
his duty was as well performed as that of him who left hun- 
dreds of thousands ; but this monstrous extortion had only 
existed because the people hesitated to speak of it as men — as 
rational freemen. 

Mr. O'Connell then went on to show that the effect, if not the 
object, of the Tithe Commutation Bill, was to increase them by 
fifths ; for by the sixteenth section it was provided that the 
average should be nothing less than that of the seven years 
1814 to 1821 — thus including the years 1814 and 1815, when 
Napoleon was upon the throne, and up to 1819, when the Bank 
Bestriction Act was first modified — that act which created so 
great a nominal value on agricultural produce. The average, 
also, was to be regulated, not by what was even paid in those 
years, but by what was promised ; so that, if it be thus regu- 
lated, taking the difference of prices into account, the tithe 
would be doubled. Instead of the tithe being, as by the old 
mode, payable once a year, it is, by the new bill, transformed 
into a tithe rent payable in May and November, full six months 
before the tithe could be productive to the farmer ; whereas, 
by the old mode, the parson accepted of a tithe- note, payable 
in twelve months after harvest ; so that, by the new bill, the 
farmer should pay his tithe eighteen months sooner than by 
present practice. 

According to the old mode, the tithe was considered to inter- 
fere too much with the rent ; but by the thirty-eighth section 
of the new act, the tithe was recoverable before rent, and had 
the priority of a]l executions j — so that it was not extraordinary j 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P 



2G7 



that the people in general should feel dissatisfied with that high 
flogging. By the fortieth section, if an assessment was not made, 
then the tithe was to be levied according to the church-rates ; 
and could any exaction or vexation be more cruel than the in- 
crease of church-rates upon the Irish peasantry ? The valua- 
tion is provided to be made by commissioners, one on the part 
of the parish, and the other on that of the parson J but should 
they not agree, they are authorised to call in an umpire, and, I 
if they cannot agree upon the choice of one, to what court or 
judge are they to appeal? Why, to Mr. Goulburn — to the 
Secretary at the Castle! — so that if it should happen that a i 
secretary had a desire to serve the parson, the commissioner for ' 
the church has only to propose some enormous tithe, to which 
the other commissioner cannot assent, and then the affair is 
determined by the Secretary ! 

By the thirty-first section the parish is prevented from can- 
vassing the assessment, when once signed by the commissioners 
or umpire, if ever so fraudulent, unless that within fourteen 
days they appeal — not to any court of law, but to the Lord 
Lieutenant ; and the whole expense of preparing the evidence j 
\n support of their appeal is to be levied off the parish. The L 
commissioners are also to receive thirty shillings per day each ; 
but in order to understand the spirit of delusion in which the 
act is drawn up, it was necessary to look to the thirtieth sec- 
tion, where the Lord Lieutenant is empowered to refer the ap- 
peal to the next judge of assize, to make such order upon it as 
he (the Lord Lieutenant) was authorized to make, either by 
confirming, abating, or annulling it. 

Now, he (Mr. O'Connell) did not mean to say that the in- 
consistencies of the act were intentional, but it was rather 
remarkable that a power was given to the judge to annul, commen- 
surate with that given to the Lord Lieutenant, who, it will be seen j 
by the twenty- ninth section, has no power at all for annulling, 
jmd consequently neither can the judge. Was the error design 
or mistake ? It was too horrible to suppose the former • and if 
by the latter, is it not cruel to have the fate of the country 
dependent upon men who can commit such blunders ? 

That is not all. Every man knows the advantage of a short 
mode of pleading. At present the parson is liable to the same j 
mode of pleading as all others of his Majesty's subjects ; but I 
by the bill that form is done away with, and in the case of I 
replevin for goods seized for tithe, the parson has merely to 
plead, without any further explanation than that he seized them \ 



! '265 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



by force and virtue of the statute made and provided in that 
case. Heretofore the clergyman recovered costs, but in the 
present case he is entitled to double costs, let the case be ever so 
fair upon the part of the farmer ; and if the clergyman is wrong, 
he merely pays the common costs ; so that, if he is right, even 
in sixpence of his claim, he receives double costs, and that was 
styled commutation ; but it was rather of the rights than the 
burdens of the people, who, if they acted as they should, 
would leave Mr. Goulburn, the tithe, clergy, and government to 
the enjoyment of the bill, and seek to breathe an atmosphere 
untainted by tithe exactions or religious persecution. 

To him (Mr. O'Connell) the absurdities and oppressive pro- 
visions of the Tithe Bill appeared to have been introduced for 
the purpose of reconciling the country to the tithe system, by 
demonstrating that there was still something worse than even 
that plundering law ; and he conceived the evils of the late 
bill were sufficiently manifest to induce them to petition for its 
total repeal, instead of amendments : for the greatest evils in 
legislation have arisen from attempts to cure defects in acts of 
parliament. 

The Tithe Commutation Bill had, however, been of impor- 
tant service : for its enactment had deprived the advocates of 
the divine right to tithes — of the only argument upon which 
they relied. They had established, that interference with that 
species of church property was not sacrilege ; and from the 
present state of society there was reason to hope that the 
British people would no longer be deterred by such unmeaning 
cant from seeking that reform in church revenues as would 
leave the clergy leisure to attend to their missions — make them 
cease to be politicians, and become divines. 

Mr. O'Connell concluded by observing that the Tithe Bill had 
also violated the conditions made as the wages of corruption, 
paid for the vile votes of those who trafficked upon the indepen- 
dence of their country, and assisted to effect the odious Union. 
It disregarded the provisions of the Tithe Ajistment Bill, and 
in every instance had done away with whatever was favour- 
able to this country in that infamous measure ; that swindling 
act, that had no legal power to operate ; that was void from its 
formation ; and that was sanctioned by those who assumed a 
privilege never intended by their constituents or the constitu- 
tion — an act of legislative fraud and oppression, that, as Mr. 
Sa urin observed, made it " a question op prudence, not of 

CONSCIENCE, WHEN IT SHOULD BE REPEALED." 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



20? 



Mr. O'Connell then moved that a petition be presented to 
pari iament, praying the entire repeal of the Tithe Commuta- 
tion Bill. 

A Protestant gentleman (a Mr. Kelly) here addressed the meeting upon the same sd|>- 
ject, and was received with the greatest attention. 

Mr. O'Connell rose to avail himself of his privilege of reply, 
and after a high enlogium upon the sentiments of the last 
speaker, and congratulating the Association upon the presence 
of a gentleman of his ability and liberality, he assured the gen- 
tleman that it was not his intention to censure the Protestant 
clergy generally ; for he (Mr. O'Connell) had amongst them 
several worthy, liberal, kind-hearted, and learned friends, for 
whom he entertained a sincere affection, and he had also several 
relations Protestant clergymen, whose conduct and principles 
he knew and respected too highly to include them in general 
censure. 

When he (Mr. O'Connell) expressed his disapprobation of any 
Protestant clergyman, he alluded to those whose conduct was 
known to the public, and by whom they would not be mistaken. 
With respect to the petition, the gentleman was mistaken if he 
supposed the Association composed of citizens only. They 
were prevented by legislative enactments from assuming a dele- 
gated character ; but the Association consisted of most respec- 
table gentlemen from every county in the kingdom, who all 
suffered from the Tithe Bill ; and though many citizens were 
present, yet, like himself, they were tithe payers. As the Asso- 
ciation was formed for the management of Catholic affairs, he 
conceived tithes a peculiar Catholic grievance, and therefore 
could not think of withdrawing the motion. 



CATHOLIC ASSOCIATION— 24th Jan., 1824. 

Counsellor Fitzsimon in the Chair. 

After this Mr. O'Connell proceeded to England to bring home his family, and thus was 
not present at the three first meetings of the Catholic Association in the year 1821. 

Upon Saturday, the 21th of January, however, he re appeared in that body, to resume 
his portion— the lion's share— of the agitation. 

Mr. Kirwan rose to propose a motion of which he had given the proper no- 
tice. It was to the following effect, viz. : that letters should be written to all 
the Roman Catholic peers, sons of peers, baronets, &c 7 &c, reque3tiug of theiL 
to become members of the Catholic Association 



270 SELECT SPEECHES OF 

Mr. KjPwTV'Ajf spoke at considerable length to this motion, and when he had 
sat down — 

Mr. O'Connell, moved as an amendment, that a committee 
of nine should be appointed to devise the best mode of en- 
larging the Association. 

He (Mr. O'Connell) did not approve of the mode suggested, 
of writing letters. The answers should be read, and it would 
give an opportunity to any gentleman who might differ in opi- 
nion with them, to say anything disparaging he pleased, either 
to gratify peculiar whim or prejudice, or perhaps neither, but 
merely in submission to the opinion of some interested friend, 
anxious to create allies to the Warder and Antidote; and these 
last would, no doubt, turn their assistance to account, and use 
those answers to the disadvantage of the Catholic Association. 
Thus many persons would be prevented from expressing their 
| approbation of it, not wishing to have their families and friends 
traduced by the vituperated press. 

He (Mr. O'Connell) differed from Mr. Kirwan in his opinion, 
as to the attendance of members of respectability. He remem- 
bered that during the existence of the Catholic Board, when it 
comprised eight hundred members, there was not a better, nor 
generally so good an attendance as appear at the meetings of the 
Association • and though he (Mr. O'Connell) had the experience 
of a score years in Catholic affairs, he had no recollection of 
more numerous attendances. The Association had certainly 
taken no pains to extend itself, for which it deserved censure. 
Every parish ought and should be visited, and inquiries made 
as to who would become members ; or better modes might be 
adopted, but certainly none so injudicious or mischievous as 
raising dissensions amongst themselves, and consequent exposure 
and misrepresentation. There were difficult times before them. 
Tory and Orange malignity was industriously exciting in Eng- 
land prejudice in the doubtful, and active hostility in those 
who, though averse to Catholic claims, were heretofore satisfied 
with leaving them to the management of more ultra opponents; 
and it behoved the Catholigp in defence of their interests to be 
watchful, and not intentionally supply their enemies with wea- 
pons of offence. 

The Catholics should promote that union amongst themselves, 
which they had been endeavouring so long and so ineffectually 
to establish amongst their countrymen generally : but there 
was now something wanting amongst the Catholics, equally as 
requisite as union of sentiment. They should not cease to keep 



DAXIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., H.P« 



271 



up a necessary fund for proceeding with such measures as might 
be found expedient for the attainment of their emancipation ; 
and every Catholic in Ireland should be called upon to contri- 
bute a monthly sum from one penny up to two shillings, the 
utmost to which any person should be expected to subscribe. 
By a general effort of that kind, the people of England would 
see that Catholic millions felt a deep interest in the cause, and 
that it was not confined, as is supposed, to those styled " agita- 
tors," though, in point of law, the Association cannot represent 
the people, yet, as they represent the public voice, because able 
to guide public opinion, they would (had they such a fund as 
was proposed) easily detect those itinerant fomentors of discon- 
tent, who are at present distributed through the country by the 
enemies of Ireland, seeking to entrap the unwary, simple, credu- 
lous, starving peasant, into some conspiracy or secret association. 
Thus did the Catholic Board, under Lord Whitworth, when they 
succeeded in bringing the case so home to several individuals, 
that many members of the Board went to the castle, and the 
information and evidence were so powerfully convincing, that 
j Mr. Saurin was obliged to order the persons to be arrested and 
j sent to Newgate \ but they were allowed to depart without any 
further inquiry, or bringing them before the tribunals ; and 
being at large, were at liberty to renew their work of blood, and 
pounce like vultures upon the persecuted peasantry, who easily 
became a prey to their vile treachery. The value of such a fund 
had been already felt, as, in proportion to its influence, the dis- 
turbances through the country had ceased to be extensive. If 
the committee were appointed, all those matters for the exten- 
sion of the Association could be considered, and Mr. Kirwan 
would have the opportunity of pushing his own views. 

Mr. Siieil supported Mr. O'ConneU's view of the case, and Mr. Kinvan was 
induced to give way and accede. 

Mr. O'Connell rose to propose a motion of which he had 
given notice. It was that an aggregate meeting should be held 
on the 1 3th of February. The notice he had given was, a reso- 
lution to hold an aggregate meeting on the 2nd of February, 
but he should beg leave to substitute the 13th of February, the 
day after term, for the day originally named. 

First, he had to satisfy them that there ought to be a Catholic 
aggregate meeting ; and secondly, as to the change of the day; j 
The necessity for holding an aggregate meeting, he conceived, j 
was too obvious to require much consideration. They had pas- j 



272 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



sed several petitions ; those petitions were but the petitions of 
individuals ; then they require the sanction of the public voice. 
The Catholic question had at different periods various success in 
parliament. Three times it passed the House of Commons, and 
at one time it was within one of having passed the House of 
Lords. The conduct of Sir Francis Burdett, on a late occasion, 
was actuated, as his conduct ever has been, by a hatred of trea- 
chery and trick. 

He took a manly and open line of conduct, but though proper 
at the timo, its consequences were, perhaps, injurious. 

The Catholic question should be kept before the public ; the 
Orange newspapers might, of course, continue to fling their filth 
on them, so much was to be had in * the market of corruption, 
that even carrion bore a high price. He believed, however, 
that at least nine-tenths of the conductors of the Orange press 
were, in point of law, and even in belief, as much a Catholic as he 
was himself. Some persons, he understood, had intimated that it 
would be advisable to select another advocate in the House of 
Commons, to entrust their cause to : he hoped that their petition 
would never be taken from Mr. Plunkett, as long as that highly 
talented advocate choose to accept it. (Hear, hear.") 

It had been suggested by Mr. Charles Butler, an English Ca- 
tholic, that a petition for the repeal of the act which enforces 
the degrading oath which Protestants take, should be presented, 
and that the Catholics might be heard by counsel at the bar of 
the house. 

Mr. Kirwan here observed, that no Irish advocate would be heard at tiie 
oar of the house. 

Mr. O'Connell replied, that no such prohibition existed ; 
previous to the Union, no English advocate would be heard at 
the bar of the Irish house, nor Irish at the bar of the English 
house ; but since the Union, as the parliament consisted of the 
representatives of the United Kingdoms, that objection did not 
now exist. 

Mr. Kirwan believed, that Mr. Whitestone, the Irish barrister, was refused 
the liberty of pleading a case before the English parliament ; but that the Scotch 
advocates were entitled to the privilege. 

Mb. 0' Cornell and Mr. Sheil assured Mr. Kirwan he was mistaken; Mr. 
Whitestone was not refused, and the Irish advocates founded their claim on 
the same pretensions as the Scotch — that of the Union. 

Mr. O'Connell resumed. — The repeal of the Abjuration Oath 
would remove all the disqualifications under which the Catholics 



DANIEL O'CONNELL. ESQ., M.F. 



273 



suffer, and the only question was, whether the rules of the house 
were against such mode of proceeding ; but that difficulty was 
removed by the opinion of the first living authority, Lord Col- 
chester, to whom Mr. Butler applied upon the subject ; and 
though Lord Colchester was averse to the Catholic claims, yet 
he did not hesitate to pronounce that they were entitled to be 
heard by their counsel at the bar of the house. 

The proceeding was not without precedent ; the Abjuration 
Oath was established in direct violation of the treaty of Limerick, 
which covenanted that no test oaths should be administered but 
those in force in the reign of Charles II., and Sir Toby Butler 
and Sir Stephen Rice (both barristers) were heard at the bar of 
the house against those oaths. 

As he (Mr. O'Connell) never did any thing but what he was de- 
famed and abused for, he expected that in the present instance 
it .would be said, as had been by some of their friends (like the 
Carlow Post), that a lawyer was never honest in his political ad- 
vice (laughter), and that, therefore, he (Mr. O'Connell) was re- 
commending himself ; but he was eighteen years a politician, and 
had not yet received a bribe, save that from the Catholic people, 
which he should ever hold dear to his heart, and he would not be so 
presumptuous as to suggest himself as the advocate ; but if tin 
people appointed him, it would not be a money gain, but a very 
considerable pecuniary sacrifice, and one he would be most happy 
to make. (Hear, hear.) 

It had been said that this proceeding had been determined 
upon by some of their parliamentary friends, but he assured the 
Association, that none of those parliamentary gentlemen most 
interested in their cause, ever took upon themselves the respon- 
sibility of deciding upon any course for the adoption of the Ca- 
tholics, but when consulted, they always gave their opinion and 
advice ; and he again assured the Association, that the recom- 
mendation of such a mode of proceeding had not originated with 
any member of parliament, but had the sanction of many whoso 
opinions deserved the greatest respect. 

He would, previous to the intended aggregate meeting of the 
13th proximo, have an opportunity of consulting persons upon 
whose discretion and high intelligence he felt he could entirely 
rely, and the Catholics generally would have an opportunity of 
considering the measure against the day in question. 

They would thus be enabled to decide entirely for themselves, 
as there was no wish to shift the responsibility of their proceed* 
ings upon any persons but themselves, j 

VOL. ii. s 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



Mr. O'Connell then moved — " That an aggregate meeting of 
the Catholics of Ireland be called for an early day in February. 55 

Seconded by Mr. Clinch, and carried. 

The time -was now come when Mr. O'Connell thought advisable to bring forward his long 
meditated plan of small subscriptions. Among those to whom he had yet mentioned it, 
were few to encourage, and several to condemn it as a trifling, and certainly unsuccessful 
experiment. So wild and chimerical did it , appear, that pains were actually taken to 
prevent his having an opportunity of bringing it before the Association. 

There was a rule of the Association, that if ten members of the body were not in attend 
ance by half-past three o'clock (the hour of meeting being three p. m.), an adjournment 
should inevitably take place. 

It will create wonder in the minds of some of our readers, and a smile in others, to read, 
that with every exertion he coujd possibly make, Mr. O'Connell failed on several successive 
days, to obtain the required quotum, small as that was. Promises of attendance he did 
get. in much more than sufficient number ; but promises not kept, or redeemed half an hour 
too late. 

Four, five, or six might be in the room when the fatal half hour would arrive ; 
and punctually at that moment, Nicholas Purcell 0' Gorman, the then secretary, would 
hold up his watch, which he had taken care to leave out for the preceding ten minutes, 
and say — 

" Gentlemen, it is half-past three o'clock, and ten members not present, we must 
adjourn !" And adjourn they accordingly did. 

At last, upon Wednesday, the 4th of February, 1824, the spell was broken. At twenty- 
three minutes past three, on that afternoon, there were but seven persons present, including 
Mr. O'Connell himself, and the inexorable Purcell ! the latter, as usual, watch in hand, not 
in the least moved by the anxiety so plainly depicted in Mr. O'Connell's face. Another 
minute, and Mr. O'Connell could remain in the room no longer. He ran down towards 
Coyne's shop, down stairs, in the faint hops of finding somebody. On the stairs the eighth 
man passed him going up. In the shop itself were fortunately two young Maynooth priests, 
making some purchases. The rules of the Association admitting all clergymen as honorary 
members, without special motion, he eagerly addressed and implor edthem to come up but 
for one moment, and help to make the required quorum. At first they refused, there being 
a good deal of hesitation generally on the part of the clergy to put themselves at all for- 
ward in politics ; and these young men in particular, having all the timidity of their 
secluded education about them. But there was no withstanding him, partly by still 
more earnest solicitations, and partly by actual pushing, he got them towards the staircase, 
and upon it f and finally into the meeting-room, exactly a second or two before the half- 
hour, and so stopped Mr. O'Gorman's mouth. 

The required number being thus made up, the chair was taken (by AVilliam Coppinger, 
Esq., of Cork), the business entered upon, and Mr. O'Connell was enabled to unfold his 
plan. 

The two poor priests, who had so reluctantly, and almost unconsciously done such good 
duty, shrunk away timidly a few moments afterwards, but as there was no " counting of 
the house" in the Association's code of laws, their presence was no longer necessary. 

The following was Mr. Connell's speech, according to the best report that we can 
find :— 

Mr. O'Connell rose to report from the committee appointed 
to consider the best means of increasing the funds of the Asso- 
ciation and its members. 

The first duty of the committee was to consider the legality 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. -75 

of the measure. The Association were resolved, from principle, 
duty, and inclination, not to involve the interests or safety of 
the Catholic body by any illegal course ; and they defied the 
Orange press to point out, through their whole proceedings, a 
single illegal act, or a solitary measure tending to a breach of 
the law. If any thing of the kind could be shown, he assured 
the meeting he would be one of the first to recommend an altera- 
tion of their course. 

In considering whether the Association was legally constituted, 
it would be necessary to refer to the 60th Geo. III. c. 6, one of 
those statutes commonly called the " Six Acts" — acts which 
pressed very heavily upon what we familiarly term " English 
liberty." Four of these acts were permanent, the other two 
were temporary. One of these was to expire upon the 24th of 
December next ; but it was worded in such a manner as that it 
might be continued for another year, at the pleasure of the 
minister. For, according to this curious and clumsy mode of 
legislation, if the session of parliament were then going on, the 
act would be in force for another year. 

The sixteenth section of this act specifically stated, that it 
did not apply to meetings held in a private room. The Associa- 
tion, therefore, could not be possibly brought under it — not being 
assembled, or intended to be assembled at any time in the open 
air — but within doors, and in a room. The fourth of the pre- 
sent king, chapter 87, was enacted under the pretence of pre- 
venting Orange meetings ; but it had had no other effect than 
j that of destroying the freemasons, and perfecting a system for 
' the increase of Orangemen. This he should prove by some very 
curious documents, which he intended to deposit with the secre- 
tary, after reading them at the aggregate meeting, and in which 
would appear the proceedings of the Orange committee of 1821, 
for devising the best means of increasing the Orange fraternity. 

At the head of the committee was Master Ellis, a member of 
the legislature, whose enactments he thus sought to frustrate ; 
and next in dignity was Alderman Darley, the chief magistrate 
of police, whose duties, if fulfilled, would be to prevent, and not 
encourage what appeared to him (Mr. O'Connell) a breach of 
the law ; and in order to sanctify the measure, Sir Harcourt Lees, 
a baronet and a minister of the Gospel, was the third in autho- 
rity. 

The act last mentioned had not put down Orangeism, much 
]ess could it put down the Catholic Association, which was not 
bound by any test, recognised by no sign or symbol, and which 



276 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



did not hold its meetings clandestinely, but openly and publicly. 
The Association might, therefore, defy the malice and persecution 
of those who sought for its abolition. 

Upon the subject of increasing the funds of the Association, j 
he was desirous of being perfectly understood, although he ex- 
pected to be abused for the proposition he should submit to the 
meeting. He could not lay claim to originality in the project, 1 
for it had appeared in a letter from Lord Kenmare, in the year 
1785, addressed to Dr. Moylan, and published during the time 
the celebrated Arthur O'Leary's powerful Essays occasioned such 
a sensation. Lord Kenmare, however, justly beloved by his 
tenantry, was loaded with public censure for his conduct upon 
the Catholic question. It was painful, indeed, and bitterly to 
be regretted, that this should be the case ; but it was inevitable j 
under the circumstances. 

Having expressed his sorrowful disapprobation of the Earl of 
Kenmare's conduct, Mr. O'Connell said, that it would indeed be 
unjust, and most reprehensible upon his part, were he for a 
moment to hesitate to express his entire and decided conviction, 
that although his lordship was unfortunately mistaken in the 
means, yet his intention was thoroughly pure and honourable, 
and his conduct really directed, as he thought, in the right way, 
towards the attainment of Catholic emancipation. 

With regard to the plan he had alluded to, the following were 
Lord Kenmare's words : — 

" There are," said his lordship, " two thousand five hundred 
Catholic parishes in the kingdom. Let us only make a rent of 
one pound sterling a year, upon each parish, and that accumu- 
lating and forming a permanent fund, will be a powerful ally in 
the contest for emancipation." 

But his (Mr. O'Connell's) plan was still more comprehensive, 
and he did not hesitate to say, that it would, with very little 
exertion, produce one hundred and twenty -two thousand, nine 
hundred and thirty-seven pounds, ten shillings. He liked to give 
them down to the very shillings of it, and had there been pence, 
he would give them the pence too. (Laugh, and cheers.) Sup- 
pose, however, that the product was less than one-half that sum. 
Say it would be fifty thousand pounds, although one penny per 
month from each Catholic in Ireland, ought surely to yield a 
sum considerably above that amount. 

Indeed there could be no doubt of it, that fifty thousand 
pounds was a sum far below what the general contribution he 
had named would amount to, estimating the population by the 



DANIEL O'COXXELL, ESQ., M.P. 



277 



last census. That census was known to have been very imper- 
fect. In the county of Mayo alone, during the year of the < 
scarcity, the numbers relieved exceeded by thirty thousand the 
stated population of the county, as returned in the last census. ! 
It would follow then, of necessity, that if the census of the 
other counties was deficient in proportion, the population of 
the entire of Ireland was far above eight millions. 

Taking it at that number, he (Mr. O'Connell) claimed 
seven of those eight millions as Catholics. Their ratio of in- 
crease had been ascertained. In the year 1731, there were in 
Dublin 8823 Protestant families, and 4119 Catholics. In the 
year 1810, the Rev. Mr. Whitelaw, a Protestant clergyman, 
states, in his census of Dublin, that the Catholics were as six 
to one ; thus there was upwards of six, probably seven millions, 
or even upwards, of Catholics in the country. The sum pro- 
posed to be raised was <£-50,000 ; and if the Catholics of Ire- | 
land were to pay but one penny a month, if but one million 
of them, instead of the seven millions were to pay it — being, I 
as it would of course be, only one shilling expense to each J 
! individual, the money could be had easily. That the facility 
existed was obvious, since the Orangemen had already charged 
them with having actually levied the money. He wished the 
fellows had been right for once. (A laugh and cheers.) 

About the year 1812, he (Mr. O'Connell) had himself pro- 
posed, and had set on foot a temporary subscription, and in 
three parishes alone, he had collected seventy-nine pounds, 
which had gone into the funds of the Catholic Board. The j 
collection would then have been continued under a regular 
organization, but that miserable disputes arose between what i 
were called the Catholic aristocracy, and the Catholic democracy, 
and upset everything. No such result should occur now. 
He would carefully superintend and work out most persever- 
ingly every detail of his plan, and would not abandon it but 
with life. He was thoroughly and entirely convinced not only 
of its practicability, but of its certain efficaciousness for its 
purposes. 

Before he should enter more minutely into any of those 
details, it would be necessary that he should state the object 
for which the funds were required, and the manner in which 
they were to be applied. Nothing could be more natural than 
that men should require to know for what they were to pay, 
and nothing more proper than they should have that stated 
fully and distinctly, before being called upon. 



2/8 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



There were, then, five distinct, definite, and decided objects 
in view. He wonld take them one by one. The first of these 
objects was, the collecting and conveying to parliament the 
petitions of every county in Ireland, not only on the subject of 
Catholic emancipation, but upon that of every other grievance, 
of whatever kind, which pressed upon the country ; also there 
was the purpose of retaining what he believed to be quite in- 
dispensable to a proper care of their business — a parliamentary 
agent in London, at a salary of four or five hundred pounds a 
year, to attend to the proceedings in parliament having reference 
to the Catholics, and take such steps there as might be advis- 
able. For this duty he should take leave to mention Mr. 
James Eoche. He did not know a gentleman more qualified in 
every respect to fill a situation of so much importance, and so 
necessary as this was. He did not exaggerate its importance, 
nor its clear advisableness. The foreign dependencies of Great 
Britain had each their own self- chosen parliamentary agent in 
London, watching the parliamentary and other transactions 
there ; and why should Ireland not have hers ? There would, 
of course, be various expenses attending the petitions of which 
he had spoken, and also attending the bringing to town evi- 
dence to support their statements. He would set apart ,£500 
a-yearto meet these items. 

The second object that he proposed they should have in 
view, would be to encourage, and by effective support to enable 
the liberal press, both of London and Dublin, to contend with 
the Orange press, which is paid to revile everything liberal. 
The Patriot and the Correspondent were, to be sure, honest. ' 
after a fashion ; they abused everybody that spoke against the 
government, and supported every government and every min- 
istry that chose to pay them for doing so. They got their pud- 
ding, and they tried to deserve it. 

But among those public prostitutes, there was what might 
be called the volunteer part of the Orange press, cherished 
indirectly by government, and avowedly by the established 
clergy. He meant the Antidote, the Warder, and the Mail. 
The Mail, that was too fashionable to be thought to belong 
to its own religion. There was also to be another papei which 
had put forth a comical piece of impertinence, by v;ay of 
prospectus, and which he supposed he might class amongst 
them. These publications never yet breathed a word in favour I 
of liberty, and are strangers alike to kindness, liberality gene- 
rosityj or good feeling of any sort. | 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



Ke (Mr, O'Connell) was, with them, a scoundrel, not Lo- 
calise they hated him, but because ^they thought abuse of him 
was grateful to their employers. 

In fact, the Orange press was a perfect picture of Orange 
principles ; in no one instance was there to be found a sentence 
that bespoke a spirit of nationality, a sense of the value of 
liberty, or a desire for unanimity and good fellowship amongst 
Irishmen. No ! it nourished faction, and spread discord and 
deadly hatred between men who should live as brothers. It 
fattened upon that which a sound constitution or an honest 
mind would fling from it with loathing and disgust, fearing to 
be poisoned by its rancorous vileness. It was a singular fact, 
that these wretched publications were exclusively conducted 
by renegades. 

He would not, however, confine his view to the press of Dub- 
lin. They had more formidable enemies at the press of London. 
The papers most in circulation were divided into shares, and 
in many instances held by those whose personal politics were 
strongly opposed to the principles advocated by the paper from 
which they derived a considerable revenue. A fact connected 
with that subject was so curious and so apposite, that he could 
not refrain from mentioning it. The late Mr. Ricardo, so reso- i 
I lutely opposed to ministers in his political career, was a very 
! extensive shareholder of the Courier, of which there were twenty- 
j four shares, and which derived its support from abusing himself 
j amongst others who, certainly, however, were not benefited by 
the abuse as he was. 

The Times was another mercantile speculation, and money — 
! money was the object. It abused and supported the Catholics 
alternately, just as a purpose was to be answered by it. The 
Morning Chronicle had long and effectually supported the Catho- 
lics, but it had now become a more trading concern, after having 
passed from the hands of him who never would have conde- 
scended to drag it through the mire with which its pages are 
now daily sullied. No ; he (the late Mr. Perry) was too stanch 
a whig, and too high-minded a man for conduct like this. The 
present editor of the Chronicle is a sour. Scotch sectarian ; one 
of those who, without believing implicitly in Christianity, assume 
its principles, in order to hate and persecute more effectually. 
Now a few pounds sterling might have a great effect upon a sour 
Scotch sectarian, if not swayed by the same generosity that in- ' 
j duced some of his countrymen in Edinburgh to subscribe a few ' 
j half guineas, in order to educate the Irish people. For the press, 



280 SELECT SPEECHES OF 

then, he would allow £15,000, and for the first head of experts 
he had said £5000, making in all £20,000. 

The Orange faction have become active. They are on the 
alert. They have locked the Marquis of Wellesley to their 
chariot wheels, and dragged him to their Orange club feasts, 
without his making one stipulation that the sentiment of offence, 
the personal application of which was understood, and which no 
one having a respect for Catholic feeling could sanction, should 
not be given : and scarcely was his back turned, when, as if to 
show that their silence in his presence was not from any defer- 
ence to his wishes, but the effect of a forced etiquette, the toast 
was given, for drinking of which he dismissed one of his own 
officers. Hitherto Orange strength was concealed, because it 
was of a mixed quality, and hid beneath the shield of govern- 
ment ; but at present it despises protection or disguise, and 
openly opposes government, which it had taken captive. But 
who would say the captivity was not voluntary upon the part of 
the government ? 

The Marquis had acquired a high character in India, and like 
many who had amassed wealth in that clime, he feared that he 
had returned to Ireland but to enjoy his ease in expending it in 
his native country. 

Throughout the country the people stood in need of legal 
protection. This idea might be sneered at as coming from him, 
but it was really frightful to think of the oppressions which it 
was in the power of a magistrate, tinged with Orange principles, 
to inflict upon the people. With a view to meet this, he would 
apportion £15,000 a year towards procuring legal protection 
For the Catholics against Orange oppression. He had now dis- 
posed of £35,000 a year, and trusted the objects he had detailed 
were such as would meet the entire approval of the Catholic 
body. 

He had next to turn their attention to the subject of the 
education of the poor. It had been said by the Orange press, 
and by the saints of the Association in Kildare-street, that the 
Roman Catholic clergymen were inimical to the education of the 
poor. Nothing could be more false. The hypocritical saints had, 
however, become agitators, it appeared, and had taken on them- 
selves to arraign peers in parliament. 

Let any one compare the crowd of busy bright faces coming 
out of a Catholic school, with the silent few coming from one 
of the Society's schools, where the scholars are furnished with 
the Charter School Catechism. It would be necessary also that 
the Catholic children should be provided with books untainted by 



DANIEL O'CON'XELL, ESQ., M.P. 



tmy doctrine opposed to their own faith. The government were 
much and grievously in fault to continue the system of subsidizing 
with thousands of the public money, the parties who were em- < 
; ployed in teaching the Charter School children little else, but to 
hate with inveteracy their neighbours of a different religion. For 
; the use of the Catholic schools, and for the purchase of books, he 
| would allow £5000. 

The fifth purpose for which the fund should be applied, he 
would now explain. He had received a letter from the Right 
Rev. Dr. England, Roman Catholic bishop of Charleston (than ! 
whom a more pious divine, a better Christian, or more learned ' 
prelate was not to be found), stating that Catholic priests were j 
much wanting in America, particularly Irish ones, and as the 
resources for educating the Catholic clergy were scanty, and to- ! 
! tally inadequate, he would propose a grant for that purpose. It 
I was notorious, that notwithstanding the thousands granted by 
! parliament to Charter Schools and the Kildare-street Society, 
the Catholic College of Maynooth received but an annual grant 
of .£8000. The French government were now very anxious to 
educate as many Irish priests as possible, not indeed for any j 
hostile purpose, but from a desire to retain the funds left by 
Irish families, his (Mr. O'Connell's) own amongst the rest, for the 
i education of Catholic priests, and for which funds the English 
i government negleeted to apply, when they might have done so 
effectually, and were urged to it by the Irish Catholic prelates.* 
| There were many objections which should influence a paternal 
\ government solicitous for the peace and welfare of the kingdom, j 
against having the Catholic clergy educated in France, and jj 
induce them to make a sufficient allowance to the Catholic ; 
college, for the purpose of assisting in the education of Catholic j 
clergy at home. Our government seemed insensible to these 
considerations, and therefore he would allot a sum of £5000 
for the purpose he had stated. There would then remain of the 
£50,000, £5000, and that sum should be held over to accumu- 
late, and be applied to the building, and for building chapels, 
taking farms in the several parishes, and erecting a house upon 
each for the Catholic clergymen, &c, &c. 

He had now stated the objects for which he sought to raise 
the money, and he had but to recall to their minds the means 
by which he proposed it should be got. If only one million out 

* Finally, the English government did apnlv, and got a considerable snra of "indemnity'"- 
money from the government of Louis XVIIL, bat spent the most part of it o£ old 
Buckingham Palace t 



282 



SELECT SPEECHES OP 



of the seven millions subscribed but a single penny a month only, 
they would have more than sufficient for their purpose. They 
could enter the several parishes in a book, and call it the " Eman- 
cipation Rent/' or the " Slave Rent." A circular letter should 
also be prepared, stating that they would not take more than two 
shillings per month from any individual, and expecting only one 
penny a month for each. Thousands of orphans were supported 
in Dublin by one penny per week. The first year he thought 
they would get, at the least, one million of shillings, and it was 
a million to one but they would get double that number next. 

The great difficulty would be, not to get the money, but to 
collect it. He was himself, in general, as busy as most men, but 
he would engage to collect his parish. They could not fail but 
from the voluntary abandonment of their plan, and he for one 
would, as he said before, and now repeated, never abandon it but 
with his life. 

The first Protestant to whom he had mentioned the plan, offered 
him his money upon the instant. It wagjn his study that very 
morning and the subscription was pressed upon him. He (Mr. 
O'Connell) had, of course, not consented to receive it yet, as the , 
plan had not been as yet adopted by the Association ; but he 
felt, that although the courtesy was small, the kindness which 
prompted It was great, and he drew a good omen for the future 
from it. He felt assured that more than half the Protestants in 
the kingdom would subscribe, when the legitimacy and fitness 
of their object should be seen by them. 

Their carrying this plan vigorously into effect, would show to 
the government how anxious the Catholics of Ireland were for 
emancipation, and by acting thus in unison, they would win their 
way on the public mind. If they had money enough, they need 
not fear being efficiently represented in parliament. Though 
the law said no seat in parliament could be purchased, yet it was 
contrived to dispose, by some means or other, of seats for friend- 
ship's sake ; and the Nabob of Arcot, it was well known, had had 
at one time the property of five borough seats in the house, and i 
what was practicable to him, was so to others. Catholics might 
also obtain an influence, should it seem proper to attempt doing 1 1 
so in the indirect modes which others used so frequently, and 
which would continue until nomination boroughs should finally 
be got rid of. 

The two objects for which he had given notice of a committee^ 
were so distinct, that he now considered it necessary to move for 
the appointment of a separate committee for each purpose. 



DAXIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



283 



The motions were agreed to unanimously. 

On the 14th of February, Mr. O'Connell reported from the committee appointed to con- 
sider the best means of increasing the funds of the Association 

He had at a former meeting, stated in detail the plan of sub- 
scriptions, of which the Association had been pleased to express 
approval. His observations during that statement, had occasioned 
a great accumulation of abuse, directed against himself, but abuse 
for which he had been, and always was quite prepared, and care- 
less about. 

Having put his hand into the hornet's nest, he could not expect 
but that attempts would be made to sting him. 

His (Mr. O'Connell's) observations upon the London Morning 
Chronicle were founded upon inferences drawn from facts, such 
facts as, that the Morning Chronicle had heaped the most ran- 
corous and monstrous abuse upon the Catholic religion ; had 
attempted to confirm and strengthen the prejudices of the English 
people against the Catholic claims ; had libelled and calumniated 
the religion of five-sixths of the people of Europe, the religion of 
Alfred, of Edward, of Sir Thomas More, and Fenelon ; had auda- 
ciously styled the Catholic religion as one that can only be pro- 
fessed by knaves or fools. Could there be a more offensive 
imputation, though obviously groundless ? for he (Mr. O'Connell) 
would ask, what was the inducement, that as knaves they should 
adhere to a religion, for which in this life they were made to 
suffer rigorous persecution and deprivation of the rights of free- 
born men, and that as fools they should forfeit their temporal 
advantages, at the risk of damnation hereafter. 

Those charges of immorality, brought against the Catholic 
religion by one differing in faith, not only from it, but the reli- 
gion of the state, and advanced with such acrimony, justified 
in his (Mr. O'ConnelFs) opinion the appropriate appellation of 
"sour sectarian" bestowed on the person from whom they had 
proceeded. The Morning Chronicle, since it had become a 
mere mercantile speculation in the hands of the present pro- 
prietors, had ceased altogether to give anything like fair play to 
the Catholics. 

In this opinion he was not singular. (Hear, hear.) He had 
received a letter upon the subject, a part of which he would 
read. The letter was received from Preston, from a member of 
a society formed in that town, called " The Catholic Defence 
Society," associated for the purpose of refuting, through the 
press, the numerous calumnies so industriously propagated 
against the Catholic religion. The letter stated that in the 



284: 



SELECT SPEECHES OP 



town of Preston there were many Catholics, all of whom lived 
upon the most friendly terms with their Protestant neighbours, 
who subscribed liberally to the support of some Catholic cha- 
rities. The letter then proceeded to state, that there were 
several Catholics of rank in the neighbourhood ; and the writer 
regretted the apathy that seemed to exist amongst them, and 
that it was only the working and middling classes that felt 
particularly anxious on the subject of Catholic grievances. The 
society approved of the plan suggested by him (Mr. O'Connell) 
for increasing the funds of the Association. They were about 
to adopt it in Preston, and had every hope of its 3uccess. " The 
Morning Chronicle" continues the writer, " has well deserved 
the censures of the Catholic body. The press, by a judicious 
and vigorous exercise of its powers, could remove the accumu- 
lated prejudices of centuries against the Catholics, and convince 
the credulous that they have been imposed upon by ignorance 
and malicious bigotry ; but the Morning Chronicle, since its 
change of proprietors, has taken an opposite course, and its 
efforts appear directed to strengthen and perpetuate the ancient, 
though now fading prejudices of the English Protestants against 
Catholic Emancipation." 

Mr. O'Connell then proceeded to read the report of the 
finance committee ; after which he moved that it should lie 
on the table, in order to be submitted to the consideration 
of the Association on Wednesday next. 

The report recommended the several allocations proposed by 
Mr. O'Connell, when he submitted the plan to the Association, 
viz. :— 



For parliamentary expenses - £5,000 

For the services of the press - . „ 15,000 
For law proceedings, in preserving the legal privileges of the 

Catholics, and prosecuting Orange aggressors - • 15,000 

For the purpose of education for the Catholic poor - - 5,000 

For educating Catholic priests for the service of America - 5,000 



£45,000 

The surplus sum of five thousand pounds should be suffered 
to accumulate, in order to repair and build Catholic chapels and 
schools, to procure accommodation for the Catholic clergy, and 
facilitate their efforts in every way towards improving theii 
parishes, to meet contingencies, &c. 

" The report also recommended the appointment of treasurers 
and trustees, with whom the subscriptions should be lodged i 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



285 



and that he (Mr. O'Connell) should be appointed secretary for 
correspondence with the several parishes in Ireland, upon the 
subject of subscriptions, and Mr. James Sugrue his assistant- 
secretary ; and that no grant of money should be paid out of 
the fund, without having been first considered by the finance 
committee, and duly sanctioned by the Association. 

The subscription to be called " the Monthly Catholic Rent," 
for which no greater sum should be expected than one farthing 
per week, nor higher expected than sixpence per week, to be 
paid by the several Catholics of the different parishes, whose 
names should be entered in the subscription books, and an ac- 
count of them weekly transmitted to the Association. 

Mr. O'Connell added, that the members of the Association 
would not be required to subscribe, in addition to their annual 
payment of one guinea. They would be required to allocate 
their guinea to the subscriptions of some parish ; that to which 
they individually belonged, or any other they might choose to 
fix upon. 

He (Mr. O'Connell) entertained not the slightest doubt of 
the plan succeeding, where the individual sacrifice would be so 
trifling, and the advantages to be obtained so important. The 
collection would be the only difficulty — but that obstacle, it was 
hoped, would be overcome by the arrangements of the com- 
mittee. 

Mr. O'Connell then proceeded to detail the purposes to 
which the subscription should be applied, namely, to enable 
the Association to lay before the parliament an authenticated and 
detailed history of all the Catholic grievances ; to bring before 
the legal tribunals cases of Orange outrage and magisterial 
oppression ; to maintain and preserve those legal privileges to 
which the Catholics have been entitled for the last two-and- 
thirty years, but of which they have enjoyed very few indeed : 
and finally, to inspire the Catholic peasantry with a confidence 
in the protec-tion of the laws, by showing him, and making him 
practically know that an institution had arisen, whose object 
was, that no village despot, no magisterial tyrant, nor sectarian 
bigot, shall be longer permitted to make the law subservient to 
the purposes of persecution and oppression, instead of to the 
administration of justice, and the preservation of the peace. 

The mere certainty that such a body existed, would render 
this assistance unnecessary, their enemies speedily becoming 
aware, that they could not any longer offend with impunity. 



286 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



Mr. Fitzsimon seconded the motion, and it passed as usual. 

Mr. Plunket objected to the allocation of Irish Catholic rent to the educa- 
cation of priests for America. 

Mr. Kirwan defended the conduct of the Editor of the Morning Chronicle, 
without approving of the late politics of that paper. 

Mr. Conway deprecated abuse of the press. 

Mr. 'Gorman protested against impunity to calumny, in the press. 

Mr. Sheil apprehended the conductors of the London press had made a mis- 
take respecting Mr. O'Connell's proposed allocation of money to newspapers. 

Mr. O'Connell reiterated the opinions he had before avowed, respecting the 
editor and proprietor of the Morning Chronicle. 

After which, and some unimportant business being gone through, the meeting 
adjourned. 

The attacks upon Mr. O'Connell for his new, and yet scarcely developed plan of the 
small subscriptions to the " Catholic rent," were by no means confined to the Orange 
press. ,A great number amongst the Catholics scouted the idea as childish and ridiculous. 
Boys will catch up, and reflect the opinions of men, and the writer well recollects that he 
himself was for some time much jeered at by several of his schoolfellows, for his father's 
u penny -a-month plan for liberating Ireland. 11 



WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 18th, 1824. 

Frederick William Conway, Esq., in the Chair. 

Mr. O'Gorman read a report from the burial committee, stating that several 
advantageous offers of sites had been made to them, none, of course, being ac- 
cepted until the arrangements should be forward for raising and supplying the 
necessary funds. 

The report of the committee for devising the best means to increase the funds 
of the A ssociation, having been read — 

Mr. Nicholas Mahon objected to its being adopted — accusing it of indis- 
cretion and rashness. He proposed its postponement until after the aggregate 
meeting. 

Various opinions having been expressed on this subject, Mr. O'Connell. 
who came in during the discussion, said, that from the length of the report, and 
the variety of its topics, he thought it very proper to postpone the consideration 
of the report, but wished to move the adoption of the resolution for setting the 
subscription on foot. 

Mr. N. Mahon could have no objection to that course, as there was nothing 
objectionable in the resolution. 

Mr. O'Connell, in reply to the observation, that the report contained 
angry expressions, assured the meeting that it was drawn up " more in sorrow 
than in anger," for never was there so unfavourable a prospect for the Catholic 
cause as at the present moment. Never was there so slight a pretence for re- 
sisting their claims, and never so formidable a combination to oppose them. 
Mr. O'Connell then moved several resolutions, which originally formed part o* 
the report. 

"The following is the substance of those agreed to : — 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



"That a plan of subscription be adopted, to be called 'The 
Monthly Emancipation Bent? 

" That a secretary and assistant-secretary be appointed to 
collect the subscriptions. 

" That the secretary do immediately open an account, and 
enter the amount of money paid by each parish. 

" That collectors for each parish be appointed to receive sub- 
scriptions, and that no greater number than twelve, nor iess 
than three, be appointed for each parish. 

" That a monthly report be laid before the Association of the 
amount and progress of subscription in each parish. 

" That the names of the subscribers be published, unless such 
as wish to be unknown. 

" That the amount of subscriptions, debtor and creditor, be 
published annually. 

" That all subscriptions received by the secretary be im- 
mediately paid over to the treasurer. 

"That a committee of twenty-one be appointed to manage 
the subscriptions, to be called a committee of accounts. 

" That no money be paid without having been first recom- 
mended by the committee, and afterwards sanctioned by the 
Association. 

" That the amount of subscription be one penny per month 
from each person, and not to exceed two shillings. 

" That the subscription of one guinea to the Association, be 
deemed a part of the contribution. 

" That Mr. O'Connell be appointed secretary, and Mr. James 
Sugrue, assistant- secretary, for collecting subscriptions. 

A discussion then took place as to the necessity of adjourning the aggregate meeting to 
some future day, in consequence of the resolutions and petitions intended to be submitted 
to the meeting not being ready. 

After which the Association adjourned. 

Upon the 21st February, their next meeting — 

Mr. O'Connell stated, that some of the London papers 
had said that Mr. Sheil accused him of entertaining the opi- 
nions of Tom Paine ! Of course, this was unfounded. Mr. 
Sheil never did so. 

As to himself, he could not — although the miserable ca- 
lumny was scarce worth his while — bring himself to forego the 
opportunity of once for all giving the most public denial to this 
malignant and most contemptible insinuation. 

He declared that no man had, or could possibly have, a 



, 288 SELECT SPEECHES U* 1 

more thorough and entire conviction of the di/ine truths of 
Christianity, and the abominable falsehood of Paine's impious 
doctrines. 

It was qnite well known to him who was the author of the 
illiberal observations upon him in the British press. He knew 
the connexion with the Marquis Wellesley, the connexion with 
the British Stamp Office, through which the paragraph came. 
He knew the individual who, for writing a pamphlet in favour 
of Lord Melville, gained the situation he now holds ; and it 
was from a point of Christian forbearance, that he refrained 
from mentioning his name, and observing upon him as he me- 
rited. 

That individual had been able to discover that he (Mr. 
O'Connell) was devoid of talent. ,That important discovery, 
however, came, fortunately for him (Mr. O'Connell), a little 
too late. It reminded him of a gentleman, who, after he was 
made a judge, congratulated himself, that the government had 
not discovered, until after his elevation, that he was no lawyer. 

So, as to himself, the discovery was not made until he 
had attained that station in his profession which rendered 
| that discovery of no avail. (Laughter and cheers.) 
j Mr. O'Connell next moved upon his notice, for changing 
! the hour when the Association should adjourn from want of a 
! sufficient number of members present to authorize the chair be- 
ing taken. 

He then proposed the following resolution which was agreed 
to :— 

" That in future the chair betaken at "any time between the hours of three and five 
o'clock, as soon as ten members be present." 

Mr. O'Connell again rose and said, that though various 
homicides had been committed during the last year by the 
Orangemen, no trial of the perpetrators had taken place ; the 
effect of which had been, that Orangemen considered they might 
shed Catholic blood with impunity, and the Catholics thought 
them protected from punishment. 

The late atrocious outrage in the JSForth, where Orangemen 
deliberately took their stations upon the road, in order to shoot 
Catholics, was brought home to the parties, by the vigilance 
and honesty of a magistrate, Mr. Hamilton. A coroner's jury 
had declared it wilful murder ; and yet it may happen, that if 
the parties are not properly prosecuted, they may be acquitted 
by an Orange jury, and the Orange body may thank them, and 
declare them deserving of a reward. 



DANIEL O'COXNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



289 



When the crown undertook any prosecution of Orangemen 
in the North, the proceeding never had the cordial co-operation 
of the Catholics. It was believed that a principal officer who 
conducted these proceedings, was a dignitary of the Orange in- 
stitution ; and when it was known that that body had their 
private signals, and that the members of it were individually 
influenced by some obligation, that the authority of the House 
of Commons could not wring from a dependent of the govern- 
ment (Sir A. B. King), was it unreasonable that the Catholics 
should have little confidence in proceedings conducted under 
the auspices of one of their chiefs 2 

He did not mean to say but that the gentleman alluded to 
j discharged his duty fairly and honestly ; but he was in such a 
j situation as made it difficult not to lean to the party accused, 
j He did not make the assertion slightly, or without foundation, 
as it was grounded upon documentary evidence, which he 
should take care to have with him in proper order and ar- 
rangement to furnish to the aggregate meeting, and deposit 
with the secretary. There was the sanguinary affair at Maghera, 
where Campbell was shot, and at which his sister, who was to 
have been married in a few days, was present ; but the sight of 
her brother being slaughtered, had such an effect upon her that 
she instantly became deranged, and has continued so. Here 
was the brother slain, the sister a maniac, and yet the ruffian 
perpetrators remain unpunished ! While the Orangemen are | 
calling out to the government for persecution against the un- 
fortunate Catholics, hallooed on by the Warder and. the Antidote, 
both of which, they boast, are supported by the contributions 
of Protestant clergy, while the Orange lodges tro sedulous in 
supplying arms to those of their brethren who are unable to 
purchase them. 

Under such circumstances, it was of consequence to have the 
plan of subscription already approved of by the Association, estab- 
lished as quickly as possible, in order to supply a fund for the 
conducting of those prosecutions, in the first instance. For that 
purpose it would be desirable to have the report, accompanying 
the plan of subscription, published, that it might get into every 
one's hand, and thereby promote the collection. In publishing 
the report he did not intend that it should be considered as 
adopted by the Catholic Association, but that the Catholics might 
have an opportunity of considering it. There were a few verbal 
alterations which he considered necessary, and they should be 
made. 



VOL. II. 



T 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



The term, limited intellect, as applied to Mr. Goulburn, 
had been objected to ; but he (Mr. O'Connell) could not sup- 
pose the observation would be considered as applied to Mr. 
Goulburn in a mere personal sense ; it was used in allusion to 
his capabilities as a statesman. It was one of the cruelest 
consequences of Catholic degradation, tnat men speculated upon 
their advancement in office or enjoying the favour of govern- 
ment, by opposing Catholic claims ; and so it was with Mr. 
Goulburn, who, when in the office of Colonial Secretary, had 
stood up in the House of Commons, when the Catholic Eelief 
Bill was there under discussion, to object to its provisions 
extending to the colonies of Great Britain, as if there were 
no such authority as a colonial legislature or a prerogative of 
dispensation in the king, to each of which such a provision 
must be subjected. 

Though Mr. Secretary Goulburn betrayed upon that occasion 
his utter want of legislative and official information, yet he ma- 
nifested hostility to the Catholics ; and that was quite sufficient 
to obtain for him the favour of ministers. The secretaryship 
for Ireland followed ; and if he persevere, he may soon become 
a prime minister of England — talent not being now considered 
a necessary qualification for that office. 

But Mr. Goulburn has, perhaps, rebutted the charge of li- 
mited intellect, in not only sustaining 1*he Orangemen, but fall- 
ing in love with the Dublin corporation, thereby evincing his 
discrimination in patronizing a body that has never done any- 
thing for the citizens of Dublin, but form processions for the 
amusement of schoolboys — raise the price of coals by excessive 
extortions and fees — increase the price of provisions by their 
market exactions and tolls — levy unauthorized contributions 
upon the people ; — in fine, an association for the encouragement 
of anti -national feeling — a cumbrous, expensive, unmanageable 
machine, that he defied any person to shew had ever effected 
any practical good for the citizens of Dublin, or the country 
generally. 

Mr. Kirwan, in a short speech, seconded Mr. O'Connell's motion for print- 
ing the report, but objected strongly to several passages. Several other gentle- 
men spoke for and against. 

Mr. O'Connell defended the report. It was surely a strong 
argument in its favour, that after having been scrutinized with 
such criticism as to discover verbal improprieties, they were not 
able to produce any specific objections to its principles. How 



DANIEL O'CONNBIilj ESQ., M.P. 



201 



could the merits of the document be considered, unless it were 
first made public 1 The objection reminded him of a club in 
London, called " the Odd Fellows," in which, after a loDg debate 
as to the appointment of a treasurer, the secretary reminded 
them that before they appointed a treasurer, they should first 
have a treasury. The objection was so forcible, and betrayed 
so much common sense, that the Odd Fellows all gathered 
around the secretary, and gave him a good drubbing for being 
an odd fellow amongst them, as he was the only one that had 
common sense ; now, if Mr. O'Gorman was amongst the Odd 
Fellows, he would be quite at home. (Laughter and cheers.) 

1 Mr. O'Gormax — I am pretty much so now. 

The chairman was about putting the question, -when Mr. N. Mahos entered 
■ the room, and upon learning the subject matter of debate, implored Mr. O'Con- 
| uell, that in mercy to the Catholic people, he would not press a measure that 
might involve the Catholics of Ireland. The whole tenor of the report, in his 
opinion, was conceived in terms highly indiscreet. The allusions to the heir- 
apparent were improper and injudicious. 

Mr. O'Coxxell replied. Who, he asked, would devote j 
then* time and attention to the Association, if their measures I 
were to be thwarted by such childish opposition ? Had the As- I 
sociation yet effected one political good 1 It was time they 
should commence. There was now the opportunity, and it 
should not be lost through neglecting the means ; if they had 
subscriptions, they could apply them advantageously ; if they 
had them not, it would be owing to their not informing the 
, i people of the necessities and the benefits of such a fund. This 
4 was the object in publishing the report, without waiting for its 
adoption. 

With respect to the mention of ihe Duke of York, did not 
the Orangemen boast, that his royal highness was the declared 
and avowed opponent of the Catholic people ? Were the Ca- 
tholics to be like woodcocks, hiding their heads in bushes, 
thinking that when their heads were covered, they could not be 
seen ? What would they gain by disguising the truth ? or were 
» they likely to retard their emancipation by speaking out boldly 
and candidly ? The reverse was his opinion, for the royal per- 
sonage would then see how sorely and keenly the Irish people 
felt his supposed hostility to their cause. The prize was too 
valuable ; he would not risk losing the brightest ornament in 
the British diadem. He could not afford to lose the loyal at- 
tachment of seven millions of Irish subjects, by alienating their 
affections, which they were ready to pledge him if he but fjl- 



292 



EELECT SPEECHES OF 



lowed the genuine principles of liberal policy professed by our 
revered monarch. 

He should recollect that one Duke of York lost England by 
attempting to coerce the religious feelings of the people, by his 
bigotry and illiberality. The feelings of the Irish were no less 
sensitive, and the example might extend beyond the channel. 
People would not be deluded by his royal highness attending a 
charity dinner. Such an occurrence could not be supposed to 
operate as an effectual antidote — the poison of the Orange boast 
of his avowed hostility to Catholic Ireland. There was nothing 
to be obtained by affecting an unworthy, cringing posture, when 
the principles of public liberty were trampled under foot by 
Continental despots, upheld by British ministers. If the Ca- 
tholics should not obtain emancipation, surely it would be a 
gratification that their oppressors should not enjoy their domi- 
nion unalloyed by apprehensions. 

Mr. Stephen Coppixger thought that adopting the resolutions relative to 
the subscriptions was useless, if they were not followed by the report, professing 
and demonstrating the purposes for which it was intended. Were the report 
printed, he had little doubt the subscription would immediately follow. 

Mr. A. Browne thought the meeting was taken by surprise. There was 
no notice of the motion given. 

Mr. N. Mahon was yet to learn that emancipation would be obtained by 
I idle words and empty threats. It was idle to talk of discussing the report when 
it had effected the mischief. 

Upon a division, there appeared in favour of the printing, twenty-one. 
Against it four. 

| Mr. O'Gorman said these were sufficient for a majority, but the half of 
| those who voted had not paid their subscription for the present year. 
After thanl^ to the chairman, the meeting adjourned. 



TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 24th. 

Mr. O'Connell brought forward the resolutions to be moved at the aggregate meeting: — 

"1st. Resolved — ( Thanks to Nicholas Puree!! O'Gorman, 
secretary. 

" 2nd. Resolved — c That it is with great grief, bitter disap- 
pointment, and much indignation, we contemplate the continu- 
ance of the most unjust and oppressive code of laws, by the 
emaciating cruelty of which we still remain an inferior and ex- 
cluded class in our native land. 

" 3rd. Resolved — ( That the penal code was enacted without 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 293 I 

any necessary or justifiable motive whatsoever, and simply be- ! 
cause the framers of it had the power and mercenary malignity j 
to pass the same into law ; and that it was so enacted in direct j 
and open violation of a solemn and recorded treaty, and mani- j 
fest derogation of the rights of liberty of conscience. 

" 4th. Kesolved — ' That the Irish parliament has frequently j ; 
and publicly recognized the constant allegiance and fidelity of | [ 
the Catholic people of Ireland, notwithstanding the continued 
infliction of the penal code ; and such allegiance and fidelity j 
have been solemnly put on record with the recital of various 
statutes enacted by our parliament. 

"5th. Resolved — 'That during the reign of our late most 
gracious sovereign King George III., many laws were passed 
beneficial to the Catholics ; but no redress whatsoever has been 
hitherto extended to us during the reign of our present respected i 
monarch, notwithstanding the public exhibition of his most I 
gracious sentiments in our favour — sentiments which we ought 1 
to, and do cherish with the greater veneration and gratitude, j 
inasmuch as they are at variance with the avowed hostile opi- 
nions of the heir presumptive to the British throne. 

" 6th Resolved — ' That our Irish Protestant brethren, having I 
become sensible of the injustice of the penal code, and of the j 
grievous wrong done to us, and great injury inflicted on them- ! 
selves, thereby passed several statutes for our relief — statutes 
which were the more precious to us, as they recognized that 
sacred principle for which we contend, namely, that of liberty 
of conscience. • 

" 7th. Resolved — ' That no statute was passed purporting to be 
for our relief, since the enactment of the baneful measure of 
the Union ; neither was any concession made to us since that 
unhappy event, save and except one law, which, without ap- 
pearing to effect any thing, has, by its indirect and consequen- j 
tial operation, opened the highest grades in the army and navy 
to the Catholics. An act, however, not passed until long after 
the conclusion of the war, during which war Irish and British 
Catholics were excluded from military rank, whilst German Ca- I 
tholics, aliens to the land, and strangers to our laws, were 
allowed to exercise, and did actually exercise, military com- i 
mands in the very heart of England. 

" 8th. Resolved — ( That we are thoroughly convinced, that had 
not the fatal measure of the Union taken place, the Protestants 
of Ireland, by their and our representations in parliament, 
would have long since conceded to us that equalization of civil 



294 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



rights, which is usually styled emancipation, and we have thus 
to suffer the poignant affliction of attributing the continuance 
of our unjust sufferings to the heartless indifference and inte- 
rested intolerance of some individuals belonging to an unfriendly 
legislature. 

" 9 th. Resolved — 6 That although our prospect of success is 
at present uncheering and gloomy, we still owe it to ourselves, 
our children, and our country, to bring before the British parlia- 
ment and the world the injustice which is done us ; and whilst 
we disclaim being parties to any annual farce or ministerial 
mockery, we will still persevere in pressing our claims, because 
the public discussion of those claims, however fruitless in other 
respects, demonstrates the futility of the pretences upon which 
we are resisted, the total want of rational argument to oppose 
our rights, as well as the strength and justice of our cause, and 
the unquestionable merits of the Catholics of the British 
empire. 

" 10 th. Eesolved — ' That we will persevere in appealing to the 
British legislature, to the civilized world, and to our God, against 
the iniquitous oppression under which we labour. That we will 
again bring before the public the melancholy contrast between 
our merits and our sufferings, our rights and our grievances, 
and defy the strictest scrutiny to produce any justifiable cause 
whatsoever for the continuance of our national degradation. 

" 11th. Eesolved — 'That we earnestly recommend all the Ca- 
tholics of Ireland to contribute towards forming a fund for Ca- 
tholic purposes, convinced, as we are, that there is no rational 
prospect for Emancipation, unless the Catholic Association shall 
be enabled to adopt more vigorous and effectual measures than 
have been heretofore pursued by the Catholic people. 

"12th. Resolved — 'That we highly approve of the mode of 
raising subscriptions by monthly sums of one penny from each 
individual, and we strongly recommend that no greater annual 
contribution be received from any person than ten shillings each, i 
per month. 

" And we earnestly recommend to the inhabitants of every 
parish in Ireland, to meet as soon as possible, in *a public man- 
ner, and to appoint individuals to collect such monthly, sub- 
scriptions, and to transmit the same to the Catholic Association." 

With a thirteenth resolution, calling for public meetings generally. , 
The aggregate meeting so long announced and prepared for took placo upon. 1 1 
Friday, February the 27th, in Old Townsend-street Chapel. 
Sir Thomas Esmonds was called to the chair. 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 20 b 

CiiRisTornER Fitzsimox, Esq., moved the resolution of thanks to Nicholas 
Purcell O'Gorman, Esq. 

Mr. O'Gorman returned thanks. 

Stephex Coppinger, Esq., moved the second resolution, the Hon. Mr. 
French, the third, and Mr. Conway then read the petition proposed to be 
adopted, which was ordered to be referred to the Catholic Association for fur- 
ther consideration, and for the purpose of being forwarded to parliament. 

Some discussion here arose on an amendment proposed by the Honourable Mr. French, 
to omit from the petition all topics and remarks not strictly connected with the, single 
- question of Catholic Emancipation. 

The amendment, however, not being seconded, fell to the ground, and Mr. Conway's 
resolution, adopting the petition with such amendments as the Catholic Association should 
consider proper to be made, was put from the chair, and passed without further opposi 
tion 

Me. O'Connell here rose, amidst the most enthusiastic cheer- 
ing. For many minutes he was unable to proceed, in consequence 
of the deafening shouts that proceeded from every corner of the 
chapel. Silence being at length obtained, he said that he exulted 
with a peculiar triumph that the attempt to overturn the honest 
labours of the committee appointed to prepare the petition just 
I read, had met with such a decided repulse ; and it was with no 
j ordinary regret he had witnessed that one of a family who had 
1 done much for the Catholic cause, and a gentleman whose cha- 
racter he highly esteemed, and whose respectability and general 
good sense he could bear attestation to, had determined on pres- 
' sing a motion so contrary to the general sense of the large and 
! respectable meeting by which he was surrounded, and so contrary, 
he would say, to the interests and feelings of the country at large. 
(Applause.) 

Here it was highly important they should take their stand ; 
and he would again repeat his old and favourite motto — 

I " I 

u Hereditary bondsmen, know ye not, 
Who would be free, themselves must strike the blow ? 

Yes, at once he freely declared, to whatever side he turned him 
there was no hope of legal and constitutional redress, notwith- 
standing their painful and laborious exertion. (Hear.) It was, ' 
therefore, important that the Catholics should calculate what } 
use they should make of the resources on which they can draw. ; 

! This was necessary, as it was only by inquiring into their affairs i j 

i they could fortify themselves with prudent determination. 

* Emancipation, then, he thought, might be attained by two 
means ; First, by external means, in which he included the ap- 

; prehension of war, and the effect of foreign policy upon domestic 



296 SELECT SPEECHES OF 

legislation ; secondly, by internal wisdom, or a just application 
and disposition of the resources of those undiscovered mines 
which were latent in the body of our country. 

As to external means, they should be repudiated and rejected, 
as the last extreme of painful and inevitable necessity, although 
they were frequently taken advantage of to forge the fetters of 
the Catholic people of Ireland. The Duke of Marlborough's ex- 
ternal victories had been taken advantage of in the enactment 
of the penal code. In the strength and plenitude of power, 
England, during the reign of Queen Anne, had enacted a great 
portion of that frightful and horrible code, violating that religious 
toleration on which the ^Revolution had been founded — which 
Ee volution it was that changed the dynasty of the Stuarts, and • j 
placed the predecessors of the present family on the throne of 
these realms. (Applause.) And if England, in the security of 
triumph, and in the insolence of haughty dominion, had put her 
foot irpon their necks, there was a time, too (and it might occur 
again), Wien she held out the hand of fellowship and friendship 
— when she " kept the word of promise to the ear," and wooed 
them into a convenient and profitable alliance. (Loud applause.) 

In the experimental despotism which England fastened on 
Ireland, her mighty appetite for slavery was not gorged ; and 
because our unfortunate country was proximate, and polite in 
the endurance of the burden so mercilessly imposed, it was in- 
ferred that slavery could be safely extended far and wide, and an 
attempt was therefore made on the American colonies. Despo- 
tism, in fact, was an all-craving and voracious animal : "increase 
of appetite did grow on what it fed until endurance became 
at length too vile j and the Americans — the great God of Hea- 
ven bless them for it ! (laughter and applause) — shook off the 
thraldom which a parliament, representing an inglorious and 
ignominious funding system, had sought to impose. (Cheers.) 
Oh, it was a noble sight, to see them in open battle, contending 
for their liberties I The recollection of the circumstance cheered 
and invigorated him in his progress : it gave him an elasticity, 
which all the fatigues of the day could not depress. (Cheers.) 

41 The friends they tried were by their side — 
The foes they dared before them." 

Wives animated their husbands to the combat ; they bid them 
contend for their children, for the dear pledges of their mutual 
love — (hear, hear) — mothers enjoined their sons to remember 
those who bore them — the younger sex bid their lovers earn 



DANIEL o'CON T NELL ESQ., M.P. 



207 



tlieir favours in a " well foughten field," and to return arrayed 
in glory. They did so — -God of Heaven for ever bless them 1 ! 
he said again. (Loud cheering, mingled with laughter.) Thanks : 
to the valour and patriotism of Washington, a name dear to 
every lover of liberty, the Americans achieved their indepen- 
dence, and Providence spared the instrument to witness it. 
(Loud applause.) 

The independence of America was the first blush of dawn to 
the Catholic, after a long and dreary night of degradation. 
Seventy years had they been in a land of bondage ; but like the 
chosen people, Providence had watched over, and the progress of 
events had liberated them, and redeemed them for the service of 
their country. The same Providence existed now, and why ; 
should they despair? (Cheers.) 

In 1778, Holland assumed a threatening aspect, and some 
wise friend — (a laugh) — whispered into the ear of England, 
" search the rich resources of the Irish heart ; give to their arms 
\ stimulus to exertion ; delude them with promises if you will, 
but convert their power into your strength and render them 
subservient to your purposes." England took the advice : the 
meteor flag was unfurled ; the Danish, Spanish, and Dutch 
fleets peopled a wide waste of waters ; but what of Ireland '? 
Oh, although long neglected, she was faithful in the day of need : 
fifty thousand seamen were produced in a month — the Volun- 
teers organized — a federate independence was created — and the 
Catholic cause was debated. But, lo ! peace came, and grati- 
tude vanished ; and j ustice was not abroad ; and obligations re- 
mained unrequited ; and the Catholics were forgotten. 

Forgotten ] No ! Acts were passed against them. (Loud 
and long-continued applause.) 

Yes, strange as it might seem, 'the act taking from them the 
power to vote at vestries was passed at this very time ; so that 
if the rectors agreed to build a church, the poor Catholics could 
not ask, "Who is to go into it?" (Much laughter.) Or, if 
taking cold, he required repairs, they could not order him fifty 
I shillings to buy glass windows ! (Laughter.) Next came the 
French .Revolution. That revolution produced some good, but 
it was not without alloy : it was mingled with much impiety. 
Liberty and religion were first separated. The experiment was 
a bad one. It had much of French levity in it, and a deal oi 
what was much worse. The people of France should have re- 
membered that Liberty is the first instinct of a generous reli- 
gion. (Immense applause.) 



298 SELECT SPEECHES OP 

This position be would not concede to any saint or Bible- 
distributor. (Great applause.) The French, in folly, set reli- j 
gion at nought ; they profaned the sanctuary, and they suffered 
for it. And if they are now settling into quiet, it is because 
they are settling into religion. (Applause.) 

But he was trespassing on the time of the meeting — (no, no) j 
— and in some measure wandering. (Cries of "go on.") Well, i 
he liked the subject, and would go on a little longer. He was 
saying the French Revolution produced much good. So it did. 
Dumourier gained the battle of Jemappe — the French crossed 
the Pyrenees — General Biron was in Italy — England looked be- 
nignant ly on Ireland — it served her interest, it was her policy to 
do so, and she passed another act in favour of the Irish Catho- 
lics. (Applause.) The Irish were made more thirsty for liberty 
by the drop that fell on their parched lips. (Applause.) 

There was not one who heard him who did not mourn in j 
affection, in dress, or in heart, for some relative or friend who 
fell in the field of battle. (Hear.) His own heart-strings were j 
torn asunder by the loss of a beloved brother, the companion of j 
his youth, and the offspring of the same loins. A kinsman oi j 
his, too, died at the storming of St. Sebastian. Three times iid j 
he mount the breach, and he fell at last, covered with wnrads J 
and with glory. (Applause.) He was as gay and as ]ovely a 
youth as ever shed his blood in defence of his country, and a 
fair withal as ever trod on the green sward of Erin. (Much 
applause.) He could not choose but name him. It was lieu- 
tenant John O'Connell of the forty-third regiment. And whal 
did the relatives of these brave men gain by this 1 — what the 
Catholics of Ireland ? Why, the Marquis of Douro was made 
Duke of Wellington ! 

The victories of Wellington might be compared to those oJ 
Marlborough. Both had perpetuated despotism at home and 
abroad. Civil liberty was now extinct on the Continent. From 
the fair and classic shores of Naples to the Tanis and the Volga 
was one wide stretch of illimitable despotism. In Naples, where 
the King " swore, and swore, and swore again," he returned against 
his oath, and put to death those who spared him. Piedmont was 
under the hoofs of the despots. In Portugal liberty was extinct. 
In Germany, no breath of public spirit was heard — their chardfc 
had become corporations to " crib and cabin" the intellect of man j 
Brutal force controlled, for the present, the eternal empire oi 
mind. 

In France, the cause of liberty found some advocates, but 



DANIEL o'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



2C9 



iliey were few : the enemies of the rights of man were the more 
numerous ; but, nevertheless, France enjoyed much practical 
liberty, and her peasantry were happy and well-fed. 

In England, Toryism was triumphant. The forges were 
all employed ; the funds were high and healthy ; the cry of war 
had been abandoned ; the navy was flourishing, and actively en- 
gaged ; the army was numerous, well fed, and well paid ; the 
Duke of York, their declared and open enemy, and who headed 
the Orange faction, was the commander-in-chief ; Mr. Canning 
was in office, secured by a motley cabinet, who opposed each 
other openly, but who covertly befriended themselves to the de- 
triment of the country; Mr. Peel, their avowed enemy, was 
firm in his place ; Lord Liverpool still opposed them. Was it, 
therefore, at all wonderful that the Catholics were despised, 
and their cause abandoned ? 

In Ireland, they had been blamed for being agitators. He 
(Mr. O'Connell) thanked his God for being one. Whatever lit- 
tle they had gained, they had gained by agitation, while they 
uniformly lost by moderation. The last word was repeated so I 
often, that he was completely sick of it. He wondered some j 
gentleman did not teach a parrot to repeat it. (A laugh.) If 
we gained nothing by moderation, it cost us something. Our 
religion was reviled, and we thanked the revilers ; they spit in 
Our faces and we paid 'em for it. (Laughter and applause.) 
This reminded him of Shylock, in " The Merchant of Venice" — 

, Fair Sir, you spat on me on Wednesday last;^ 
On such a day you called me dog ; 
And for these courtesies I'll lend you so much monies 

The King came, and from the Catholics he reaped a rich 
harvest of gratitude. Anger and bigotry clothed their frightful 
forms in the garb of peace and conciliation, and became for a 
time allies to the throne. The feelings of the Catholics were, 
md he was not ashamed to say it, a little exaggerated by the na- 
tural ardour of the national temperament j by their innate sense 
)f gratitude, and by the sentiments of duty and respect, which 
warmed into enthusiastic love. The king had dismissed the 
vhiskered and feathered tribe, the reds and the blues, who de* 
ighted in clothing themselves in all sorts of muffs and tippets. 
'Much laughter.) He won the Irish, and he was received with 
)ne acclaiming shout from Dingle-o'-Cooch to the Giant's Cause- 
way. 

That most paltry of all paltry tilings, the Corporation of tho 



SELECT SPEECHES OP 



City of Dublin, swallowed this as they would have a bitter pill. 
(Loud laughter.) It was a very long time since he had taken 
physic, but he had some slight recollection of the taste of a pill 
from his boyish days. (Laughter.) The cat, however, drew up 
its nails within its paw, and we met the velvet. (Laughter.) 
We pledged as men and gentlemen, and we kept our words. 
The Orangemen accuse us of not keeping faith with heretics, but 
they have kept no faith with us, from the treaty of Limerick to 
the dinner at the Mansion-house. (Loud applause.) They never 
made a treaty with us that they did not violate, when it was their 
interest or pleasure to do so. (Hear.) The vile press of London 
might taunt him for his observations to-day ; but he would tell 
that press, that at the last time of which he was speaking, he 
bent his knee to his Sovereign, in all the ardour of duty, al- 
legiance, and love — that knee which he bent only to his God 
beside, (Cheers.) 

However, as he was saying, the Orangemen got alarmed — 
consultations were held — deputies came up to town, to preserve 
the Orange system. A representation was thereby established, and 
each county and city appointed some kind friend to act in be- 
half of the fraternity. (Loud and general applause.) 

[Mr. O'Connell here called for a large package of books, letters, and papers 
which, he said, an honest fellow in the North (and God bless him for it ! — 
(laughter) — transmitted to him. (Here there were many cries of "Read, read.") 

He would with the leave of the meeting, proceed to read, but 
he would first exhibit to them the signs and seals of the digni- 
taries of Donegal. This document should be framed and glazed 
forthwith, and suspended from the walls of the Catholic Associa- 
tion. (Hear and laughter.) The county of Donegal was not regu- 
larly organized till 1813. 

[Here Mr. B. Coyle stated that it was organised in 1796.] 

Mr. O'Connell resumed. It was a very Catholic county, and 
although there might have been scattered Orangemen resident 
in it, still he had reason to think there was no organized Lodge 
till the period he had mentioned. 

The learned gentleman now proceeded to read the regula- 
tions for admission, as assigned by the notorious Jack Giffard. 
Those who wished to be of the brotherhood should enter naked 
and hoodwinked. (Immense laughter.) This part of the busi- 
ness was denominated the Royal Arch Mark. They were next 
made acquainted with the dialogue, which was represented by 
Giffard to be long, simple, and beautiful. (Laughter. ) 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P, 



301 



Mr. O'Connell next read a letter, signed " John Payne," of 
the Cambridge militia, who was admitted to Lodge 1,287. 
This person stated that the forms were indecent and absurd, 
and that he had suffered considerable injury and abuse, and 
many things degrading to a good and loyal man, in becoming 
an Orangeman. It was worthy of remark that these Orange 
Lodges met on the first Tuesday in every assizes. If there was 
a bit of an acre of ground between a Protestant and a bloody 
Papist, or if there was an Orange murder, to be sure these honest 
Orangemen would not say a word about the matter to those of 
the fraternity summoned on juries. No, no ; it would be inde- 
licate to suppose such a thing. (Applause.) It was farther to 
be observed, that Captain Nesbitt, after being one year in office, 
had resigned the grand-mastership of this Lodge to Sir James 
Galbraith, the crown-solicitor for the county. Therefore, the 
stream of justice was sure to flow unpolluted. (Cheering,) Oh 
(he said again), God bless the honest fellow who sent him these 
books ! He was sure he was much obliged to him. (Hear.) 
It was in the recollection of many who heard him, that these | 
self same gentry had petitioned the House of Commons against 

j the respectable Jesuit establishment in Ireland. 

The Jesuits were a body, the most enlightened in every age 
since their original formation. The tuition of the youth of 
Europe had been committed to them, and they had acquitted them- 

! selves nobly. There was no subject of science or elegant litera- 

i tore which they had not touched, and they certainly improved 
and adorned every subject on which they had written. At a 
time when bigotry was the epidemic of the age in England, 
efforts were certainly made by subornation of perjury to malign 
and traduce the character of this society ; but the clear and 
steady light of history — " temporum testis, lux veritatis" — had 

, pronounced a judgment not less severe than merited on these 

; attempts. 

These were the men who were accused by the Orangemen of 
the North with darkening the intellect of the rising generation ; 
! but the eagle-eyed penetration of Henry Brougham had disco- 
j vered that the petition of the enlighteners, "peer excellence," 
abounded in glaring mis-spellings and breaches of concord. 
! (Laughter.) 

In one of the letters in his possession, the treasurer, in apply- j 
ing for subscriptions, wrote as follows : — ci As several members : 
is in arrear." The high numbering of the lodges reminded him 
of a templar in London, a friend of his, who, having purchased j 



302 



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two pair of silk stockings, had them numbered 47 and 48. 
(Laughter.) J 

After all the boasting, however, about organization and funds, 
it was discovered that lodge 10,547 only paid 5s. ; that lodge 
1,499 paid only 5s. also ; while 344 advanced only 2s. 6d., and 
1,190 nothing at all. (Laughter.) In all they could muster 
but the sum of 12s. 6d. for one year, of these lodges, which ho 
contended were falsely represented with regard to the number 
and respectability of their members. He next produced an entry 
on the book, " deploring that the political hemisphere had been 
gloomily clouded by the removal, to a better world, of that great 
and good man and brother, John Giffard, Esq." (Great laugh- 
ter and applause). 

If J. Giffard died, the spirit of the dog survived ; but what was 
next 1 Why, a document proving the illiberality of their ene- 
mies. It was in the shape of a resolution : — 

Resolved — That any Orangeman, who ever has, or may hereafter, sign 
any petition in favour of the Roman Catholics, and for their emancipation, be ex- 
pelled from all Orange Lodges, and his name posted. 11 

The individuals who passed that resolution had lately appoin- 
ted a Committee of twenty-one Orange gentlemen, to manage 
their affairs in the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland. They were — 

" Thomas Ellis, Esq., M. P. ; Frederick Darley, Esq. and Alderman; SirH. 
Lees, clergyman and Baronet ; Thomas Verner, Esq., Francis Dejonconrt, Esq., 
Captain Wiley, Charles Todd, Esq., George Hill, Esq., J. Walsh, Esq., N. Bar- 
rington, Esq., J. Forbes, Esq., L. H. Mangan, Esq., J. Pirn, Esq." 

All Esquires, said Mr. O'Connell. 

"Joseph Mullen, Esq. (no Denis in it) (a laugh) ; Win. Hall, Esq., G. Bent- 
ley, Esq., A. O'Neill, Esq., T. G. Byrne, Esq., George Fearon, Esq., George i 
Atkinson, Esq." 

(Great laughter, when this list was ended.) 

Here came a letter, written at Donegal, when the king was in 
Dublin, addressed to the then Grand Secretary ; the object of it 
was to know if the Orange system was not about being discon- 
tinued, owing to the conciliatory proceedings of that period. The 
answer to that was from Theophilus Norton, Esq., Grand Secre- 
tary ; he expressed his amazement as to what could have given 
rise to such a rumour, but said that owing to the bustle in Dub- 
lin, the Grand Lodge could not meet, and added that Colonel 
Blacker had been elected Deputy Grand Master, in the room of j 
Sir A. B. King, Bart., and that the system was as flourishing as l 
ever. 



DANIEL cfCONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



303 



The next document read, was dated 9th July, 1822, and ad- 
dressed to the Donegal Lodge, by John Burke Fitzsimons, Esq., 
their representative ; it was a postscript of a letter, and ran 
thus : — 

"P.S. — Ourstertue in College-green, I am delighted to say, is painting for | 
the 12th/' 

(Great merriment.) 

In the following November, the next paper was written, and 
was a suggestion from the Grand Lodge of Donegal, that any 
further concessions to Papists would only produce further de- 
mands " on our liberty," and they might call for the removal 
of the statue, and an abandonment of our principals, &c. 
(laughter) — that being so obnoxious to Catholics — they might 
ask to abolish " days and times" — " days and times," repeated i 
Mr. O'Connell, why that would be working a greater miracle 
than any yet wrought. (Great laughter.) This was signed 
" J. B. Fitzsimons," and dated Sandymount. 

The next was a letter from Mr. Fitzsimons, also dated Sandy- ; 
; mount, 17th September, 1822 : — 

" Dear Sir — The Grand Lodge are averse to abandoning the old custom of j 
dressing the statue — Lord O'Xeill in the chair — present, three Vemons, Messrs. J 
Sneyd, Ellis, and Darley. God send we have done right in differing with govern- 
ment : I hope it will not lead to bad consequences ; but no discussion had ever 
been more fairly or knowingly conducted. "J, B. F.*' \ 

Another document, dated Wiley's Rooms, Xorth Earl-street 1 
— Colonel Blacker in the Chair — it was agreed to form a new 
association, called the " Loyal Orange Association." 

Another document called for a return of masters and repre- 1 
sentatives from the country. [Here, Mr. O'Connell said, was a 
proof of illegality.] That document, claiming such return, was 
dated "Post-office, Dublin," and signed " William M'Culloch, 
Deputy Grand Secretary." 

This, he said, convicted the Orangemen out of their own lips, 
l| who now called themselves legally constituted. Mr. J. B. F. 
! wrote another letter, declaring he had received no money, and 
recommending another application to Mr. Ellis, (secrecy), and 
j the adoption of the king's parting admonition as their besl 
|; guide. (A laugh.) It complained "that no party was ever 
| more maligned or misrepresented than the Orangemen of Ire- 
land : and he hoped that their unjust persecution was at an end." 
He expressed his hope in Anglo-Saxon language, " that they 
would prove the advice of their friends," and ended with, "send 



304 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



to me when at a loss for to act, as your representative." It con- 
cluded as if (added Mr. O'C.) with love to yourself (laughter)— 
not literally, but in meaning, for it ended with, " I beg my best 
regards to yourself. — Yours, J. B. Fitzsimons." (Great shouts 
of laughter.) 

The next credential was a blank certificate, from the No. 334, 
at 2s. 8d. per year. The blank might be filled up with the 
name of Daniel O'Connell. (Great merriment.) The paper 
was signed O'Neill. Another began — 

" Glorious, Pious, and Immortal Memory : we appoint our well-beloved 
brother of the Purple Order, W. Mackintosh, Esq., and his successors for ever, 
is permitted to hold a lodge, &e. 

u Given under our great seal. " O'Neill." 

It would require a peer to spell the writing. He deprecated 
the fact of one of the name of O'Neill, for whose protection the 
red arm of Ulster had often been raised, being placed as the head 
of Orangemen. He added, that Orangemen were wholesale ca- 
lumniators, and affected a strength they possessed not ; govern- 
ment, if it knew that, would despise them ; and so would the 
people of Ireland, if they were not unarmed. (Great applause.) 
Mr. O'Connell rebutted the assertion, that Roman Catholic priests 
had interfered in the late county of Dublin election, and read a 
letter signed " James Langrishe " Dean Langrishe. 

The following is the substance of Dean Langrishe's letter to 
Mr. Bartholomew Senior : — 

" Senior — As you are a stanch Protestant, and an honest man, I suppose 
you can have no difficulty in voting for Sir Compton Domville. Do not, by any 
means, fail in attending at the hustings, and be as early as possible. I believe 
your son has got a vote also ; pray fetch him with you. 

" J. H. Langrishe ' 

This, he said, had threatened a person named Bartholomew, a 
stanch Protestant, with exclusion from his office of parish clerk, 
if he did not vote for Sir Compton Domville, for whom forty- 
nine clergymen of the Established Church had voted. If there 
were honesty in England, he declared emancipation would have 
been granted long ago ; and there would be honesty in England 
again, as soon as they were in danger. Should they wait until 
the Orange press had created a ferment ? No ; they should ex- 
hibit a legal and unanimous combination. While Orangemen 
were working in the dark, for their ultimate object — blood and 
murder — Catholics could not endure being trampled on, much 
less could they suffer the graves of their parents to be trodden 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P 305 

on irreverently. Was it to be suffered that they should continue 1 
to inflame the land — to commit murder? — should not the Catho- j 
lies be prepared for their defence ? (Cheers.) Petitions to the 
legislature should be prepared every week. (Cheers.) The best 
exertions of the Catholics had been frustrated, owing to the want 
of pecuniary means ; a general subscription should be made— \ 
he only asked one farthing per week, one penny per month. 
(Cries of " you shall have it.") 

He alluded here to the examinations in the House of Com- 
mons, relative to the inquiry into the conduct of Mr. Sheriff 
Thorpe, and said that the Orange secret could not be wrung from 
Sir A. B. King, for fear that the illegality of the Orange system 
should be made manifest. He next appealed to the patriotism 
of the fair sex, and alluded to the siege of Limerick, where the 
women threw themselves into the breach, and checked the as- 
sailants. King William saw that, and slunk away ; he took the 
city the next year ; but he obtained possession on the faith of 
treaties, which he afterwards violated. How otherwise than by 
a violation of a pledge could he have conquered Limerick, pro- 
tected, as it then was, by the heroine bravery of its defenders. 
(Cheers.) If his (Mr. O'ConneH's) plan succeeded, it would re- 
deem the Catholic cause, put down Orangemen, and show that 
genuine loyalty consisted in making the throne secure, and that 
the Constitution would be best preserved by affording liberty of 
conscience and equal rights to every individual in the empire. 

When Mr. O'Connell concluded, the cheers and huzzas that followed con- 
tinued for a few minutes.) 
The fourth resolution was moved by R. O'Farrell. Esq. 
The fifth resolution was moved by Mr. Barkon 
Mr. Conway moved the sixth resolution. 
Mr. Sheil moved the seventh resolution. 

Mr. Pallas moved the next resolution, which was seconded by Mr. 
Lyxcii, of Clogher House. • 

Mr. Sheil addressed the meeting at considerable length, and the resoJu- 
turns being then put and adopted, the proceedings terminated. 



" CATHOLIC ASSOCIATION— Saturday, Feb. 28. 

11 Daniel O'Connell, Esq., in the Chair. 

" collection of the rent. 

M Upon the motion of Mr. Conway, it was resolved that the proceedings of 
the aggregate meeting, on Friday, should be inserted once in the Morning 
VOL. IT. U 



306 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



Chronicle and Courier, London newspapers and twiee in such Dublin papers as 
the secretary should think fit. 

Mr. O'Connell stated that he had received £2 from a Catholic clergyman 
in England, on account of 4 the Catholic rent,' and he (Mr. O'Connell) then gave 
notice that on next Saturday he should move that measures be taken for con- 
sulting each parish in Dublin upon the best mode of collecting 1 the Catholic 
rent.' 

u He had received an offer from Mr. O'Mara, of Lower Ormond, to collect the 
rent of two parishes in that neighbourhood, and the parish priest had/also pro- 
mised to lend his assistance. 

J K Mr. O Gorman was pleased at finding the clergy disposed to assist in the 
collection. Heretofore they tad been adverse to interfering in political pro- 
ceedings. 

" Mr. O'Connell said, it was well known amongst the Catholics that seve- 
ral orphan charities were supported in Dublin by the collection of weekly sub- 
scriptions. Forty-eight of those collectors had offered their services in Dublin, 
under the superintendence of the clergy, but it was not intended to give the 
clergy any more trouble than that they should become the patrons, or act as 
checks upon the collectors, and see that the amounts were paid with punctuality. 

" The first step should be that of consulting the several parishes of Dublin, 
and having the mode of collection determined upon before they commenced in 
the country. From the many communications made to him, he was enabled to 
say that an intense anxiety existed at present in Dublin for the subscriptions 
being commenced. The people were convinced of the necessity for a general 
contribution, in order to provide le^al protection against the atrocities of the 
Orangemen." 

Upon the 3rd of March 

Mr. O'Connell read to the meeting a letter that he had 
received from Waterford, dated 1st March, and signed "John 
Fitzpatrick," informing him that eighty moral well-conducted 
tradesmen of that city had formed themselves into an Associa- 
tion, to be called " The All-Saints' Society," for co-operating 
with the Catholic Association in forwarding such legal and con- 
stitutional measures as were likely to obtain emancipation, and 
for the purpose of managing and arranging the subject of the 
Catholic rent. 

The letter also enclosed a series of resolutions upon the subject 
of Catholic grievances, and a vote of thanks to the Association. 
Mr. O'Connell also stated that twenty-four members of the 
Charitable Confraternity, for the support of orphan-houses in i 
Dublin, had proposed to assist in the collection of the Dublin 
subscriptions. In fact, nothing could be more promising nor 
more cheering than the spirit which was beginning to be evinced 
in various quarters on this subject ; and all that would be 
wanting would be steady perseverance in the good work. 

It was not intended that the clergy should have any trouble 
with the collection, further than that they should be satisfied 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ,, M.P. 



307 



with the persons appointed as collectors, all of whom should 
have their approbation. Dishonest persons might otherwise 
avail themselves of the occasion to assume the privilege of col- 
lecting for their own pockets, as had been the case in the North 
of Ireland, where a person professed himself as appointed by 
him (Mr. O'Connell) to collect subscriptions. 

The success of the subscriptions depended upon the legal 
and constitutional means used for their collection and applica- 
tion. The government and the magistracy should know every 
step of their proceedings, and the subscription lists should be 
posted upon the chapel door. 

The Catholic Association would be informed of every local 
grievance that occurred in every part of Ireland, through the 
same channel. There was not one oppressive or illegal act that 
they would not learn in all its details, without any cost to the 
aggrieved person, and his case should either be brought before 
the legislature or the courts of law. 

The plan of subscription would also enable them to have a 
pretty accurate amount of the Catholic population, and enable 
them the better to expose the injustice of Catholic degradation. 
For instance, in a town in Roscommon, the births of last year 
were, one hundred and seventy-nine Catholic children, and two 
Protestant. Now it was rather severe that those hundred and 
seventy-nine children should be made hewers of wood and draw- 
ers of water to the two more favoured infants. As soon as the 
English people see that so many millions of Irishmen are de- 
termined not to cease their exertions until admitted within the 
pale of the constitution, they will oblige the ministry to sacri- 
fice to justice and the safety of the empire, what they can 
easiest spare — a passion for bigotry. 

Mr. O'Connell then gave notice of a motion for " authorizing 
the secretary for subscriptions, to take the earliest opportunity 
of ascertaining the names, numbers, warrants, (fee, of the par- 
ties making collections in various parts of the country. 

He also gave notice of a motion respecting the Kildare- 
street Society. 

Upon the 8th of March, he redeemed the latter notice. 



KILDARE STREET ASSOCIATION. 

Mr. O'Connell rose to move upon his notice respecting the 
Kildare-street Association. 

. , I 



308 



SELECT SPEECHES OV 



It appeared there was now a petition before parliament for 
an increased grant to this association, and it was cruel that the 
funds of this association should be diverted from their original 
purpose, and applied towards shameless jobs. He (Mr. O'Con- 
nell) was himself a subscriber for many years without attending 
the meetings, because they put forward a notice, that the object 
of the institution was to facilitate education amongst the poor, j 
without interfering with the religious tenets of any. His atten- 
tion was at last called to their proceedings by the best of Irish- 
men, and one far beyond his eulogium. Lord Cloncurry in- 
formed him that in his neighbourhood the institution was per- 
fectly useless, the Association having refused relief to any school 
in which the Bible was not received as a school-book, without 
note or comment. In consequence of this, at the next meeting j 
of the society, his Grace the Duke of Leinster, Lord Cloncurry, 
and the late Randal M'Donnell, and he (Mr. O'Connell) attended, 
&nd stated, that the Catholic clergy would not consent to have 
the Scriptures degraded into a school-book, particularly with- 
out note or comment. They observed that the Catholic clergy 
might be wrong in that resolution, but it rested on a principle 
from which they could not swerve. In this statement he was 
met by the Committee, positively denying that such was the 
practice of the Catholic clergy, and they contended they knew 
the doctrines of his religion better than he did himself. 

In support of their assertion they read several letters, each 
from some Rev. Mr. blank, of blank parish, and blank place, 
those being the characteristics of authenticity which distinguish 
all the correspondence read at their annual meetings, when the 
name of Joseph Devonshire Jackson, to whom the letters arc ad- 
dressed, is the only one announced to the public. 

By the testimony of those anonymous witnesses, there was an 
immense majority against him. 

At the next annual meeting, having previously taken the li- 
berty to address the two Catholic bishops of Dublin (Doctors Troy 
and Murray), and having received from them a letter, stating, 
" that they did not conceive the Scriptures proper school books ; 
and that their practice was to have the Scriptures accompanied 
by note and comment, and that they could not deviate from that 
rule," it was proposed by Lord Cloncurry, seconded by Mr. 
Curran, that, a committee should be appointed to inquire and 
report, whether their mode of proceeding was the best adapted 
to carry into effect the principle of their institution, and to give 
an equal facility for education to persons of all religions. 



DANIEL o'CGNXELL, ESQ., M.P. 309 

But the majority of the society, from a conviction of having 
carried on proceedings they dared not avow, resisted the appoint- 
ment of a committee of inquiry, and thereby convicted them- 
selves of that want of candour of which he had often accused 
them. Yet those were the men to teach morality to the Irish 
peasantry, who themselves violate its first principles — nay, they | 
even resolved that the regulation respecting the use of the Scrip- ! 
tures in school, should not be repealed without a particular re- 
solution of the association. 

Those general meetings were the most oddly composed im- 
aginable. There were High Churchmen, such as Rev. Mr. Daly, 
county Wicklow ; there were several " New-lights " of several 
denominations, some Quakers, and several of those half Quakers, 
who are neither Protestant nor Quaker, but have a smack of 

I both ; not agreeing exactly in the Scriptures, that they may 
continue to wrangle upon them. He should never forget the i 
fanatic yell with which his motion for investigation was re- j 
eeived — particularly from a host of Quakers. 

It was somewhat singular that he shortly afterwards expe- 
rienced a defeat, with a similar-toned hiss, at the Dublin Library, 
when he attempted to have excluded from its shelves an impious j 
work against Christianity, styled Ecce Homo I It had been ir- 
regularly, and of course improperly introduced • he had endea- 
voured to get rid of it ; the shameless writers in the Orange press 
accused him of having contended for its reception ! It was most 

i likely one of themselves who had put it on the shelves. 

He had no doubt the Kildare street proselytizing schools had 

| considerably increased through the labours of a gentleman, whom 
he (Mr. O'Oonnell) much regretted had greatly exerted himself 

: to forward the views of the promoters of the society in question. 
\ \ The schools had, unfortunately, increased to a considerable ex- 
tent, owing to a misconception in several Catholic quarters. 
The society had, in these places, got the name of liberality • be- 
cause of casual relaxations of their rule, with regard to the read- 
ing of the sacred scriptures, without note or comment. He had 

; heard that there were somewhere about forty instances in which 
this had occurred ; and he prayed the association and the coun 
try to remark what manner of men these were, who managed 
this Kildare-street Society, and assumed, or rather presumed to 
meddle with the education of the entire youth of Ireland. First, 
they make a rule which they profess to be essential, to be indis- 

j pensable, and in fact, the foundation of their whole system ; and 
then, when an object is to be gained, they do not hesitate to 



310 



SELECT OPEECHES OF 



abandon what they affected to consider so necessary, and to vio- 
late what they appeared to hold as of such sacred importance. 

Perhaps, however, they considered duplicity a necessary part 
of the system for educating the Irish, and so practised it before 
they preached. 

He had been misunderstood upon a former occasion by some 
of the newspapers, when he charged the Kildare-street Society 
with incorrectness in their accounts. He did not charge them 
with not bringing forward, in their balance-sheet, the money in 
hand ; but he had charged them, and did so still, with having 
omitted the stock of books and paper/ from one year to the 
other. He did so upon the best authority in the world. 

The Kildare-place Society had thought proper to proceed 
against Mr. Boswell, a respectable paper-stainer, who had become 
security for a store-keeper, who, they alleged, was deficient in 
the quantity of books and papers. He (Mr. O'Connell) had 
been counsel for Mr. Boswell. The Kildare-place Society had 
totally failed in the prosecution, because they had not the slight- 
est evidence in the world as to the quantity of paper, or books, 
which they had had under the care of the accused store-keeper. 
They contrived most industriously to keep the trial out of all 
the newspapers, although there were reporters present. 

What admirable tutors in vulgar arithmetic ! What admir- 
able instructors for the Irish peasantry ! Were they better 
qualified, in a moral point of view, divided as they were amongst 
themselves, by various religious opinions, and agreeing in nothing 
but the spirit of proselytism, not caring what the children were, 
so as they ceased to be Catholics. It was very probable that 
the saints in parliament would throw their shield of protection 
around their fellow-labourers in Kildare-street, but the petition 
would have the effect of administering that material portion of 
education — wholesome correction. 

It would expose their practices to the parliament and the 
people ; and if the parliament were intent upon giving the public 
money really for the education of the Irish poor, instead of making 
it the means of proselytism, they would agree to the prayer of 
the petition. They would appoint a committee to inquire 
whether the mode of education pursued by the Kildare-street 
Association is that best adapted to the wants and circumstances 
of the Irish peasantry. 

To be sure, they might be met by the hacknied calumny, that 
the Catholic clergy were desirous of keep ing the people ignorant 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



311 



of the Scriptures, but there never was a baser or more absurd 
assertion. 

The Catholic clergy wisely see what the Kildare-street Asso- 
ciation themselves exhibit — a couple dozen religions seated around 
their table. They wished to prevent children's uninformed minds 
from being confounded and embarrassed with what they cannot 
understand. They wish to avoid laying the foundation for future 
Johanna Southcotes, Jumpers, and Seekers, and other "New 
Lights." They had no desire to render the Scriptures obnoxious to 
the rising generation by their being made task books. They had 
no desire to withhold the Scriptures from adults, or those capable 
of understanding their mysterious truths. But they had no wish 
to create doubts and difficulties by the use of the Scriptures, 
without note or comment ; and it should be recollected that to 
the veneration and care with which the Catholic clergy have pre- 
served the Scriptures, the Protestants are indebted for having 
them in their original purity. 

The Catholic clergy have not only preserved the written, but 
the unwritten law of God — practised and professed by the Pro- 
testants of this day. 

The learned gentleman then moved the appointment of a com- 
mittee to prepare a petition to parliament upon this subject. 
Carried. 

Eefore proceeding to the Association to make the foregoing speech, Mr. O'Connell had 
had to deliver two or three others, at a "meeting of the citizens and householders of Dub- 
lin, pursuant to a requisition to the Right Honourable the Lord Mayor, for the purpose o* 
taking into consideration the measures most expedient to be adopted, in order to prevent 
the infliction of the burthens now sought to be imposed upon the citizens of Dublin, in 
consequence of the corporation having, by public* notice, announced their intention o* | 
applying to parliament, in this session, for power to impose tolls and customs upon goods i 
coming into and going out of said city." 

rSuch were the terms of the announcement. The abbreviated account we give of the 
meeting will show the reckless shamelessness of the old corporators, «nd also the varied j ! 
uature of the struggles— varied in all save difficulty— which Mr. O'Connell was continually 
engaged in. 

* | 
" The Lord Mayor took the chair, and the first proceeding was to read the 
intended petition of the corporation. 
11 Mr. Arabin moved : — 

" Resolved— 4 That we understand that the Corporation of the city of Dublin have petf- 
iioned parliament for the establishment of tolls and customs in the said city.' 

M Alderman Archer thought the resolution should not embrace anyinuendo 
The corporation did not wish to tax the citizens, but to relieve them I (A laugh.) 

Mr. O'Connell said, that if the resolution proposed did not 
state what was the fact, let the gentleman bring forward one 



312 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



that he considered did. Let thorn state the truth at once. If 
they were not seeking to establish tolls, let them bring forward 
a resolution to this effect :— 

" Resolved— That the Corporation are net seeking to establish tolls." 

,He would prove to their satisfaction, or rather dissatisfaction, 
that that was not what, as private gentlemen, they could assert. 

They stated that, from time immemorial, they were accustomed 
to receive tolls. That was unfounded in fact. Let them try the 
question of right. If they did not like the King's Bench, let 
them bring it into the Common Pleas. The tolls must be local. 
If they removed them beyond the boundaries of the city, they 
might extend them to the county of Dublin. Those who resided 
one inch beyond the toll-gate were freed of toll ; but this effort 
of the Corporation, if successful, would have the effect of making 
them liable to toll who were not so before. 

The crown could not grant to any corporation the power of 
levying any toll without a quid pro quo. The king could not 
grant a toll by charter without the proviso that the Corporation 
would give value to the citizens of Dublin. He would ask, did 
the Corporation repair the streets, or mend the quays, or build 
bridges, or pay the metal main tax ] (No, no, no.) He (Mr. 
O'Connell) paid the Paving Board nine or ten pounds a- year, for 
which he had not got any equivalent from the Corporation. The 
city treasurer was well able, but he was not willing, to pay that 
— no blame to him. 

He (Mr. O'Connell) paid the Anna Liffey cess without a mur- 
mur ; he got fair value for it. If a bridge wa^ to be built, 
a prison to be erected, or a contract to be entered into for milk, 
butter, and .potatoes for any prison, the citizens ™w called on 
to pay according to the grand jury presentments ; and the Cor- 
poration was not permitted to interfere further than in the ap- 
pointment of the man who was to receive the money. Whenever 
they did interfere they give little or no value for the taxes. They 
still received monies which in Catholic times had been applied 
to Catholic uses, but which uses had of course long ago ceased ; 
such as the providing that mass should be regularly said for the 
| train bands. 

I The Corporation held out no prospect that they would give 
value for these new tolls ; and the greatest proof that could be 
given of their own conviction that they had no right to levy 
them, was their admitting that an act of parliament was neces 
sary, in order to establish their present claim. 



DANIEL CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



313 



Let the Corporation deal candidly with them. What was now 
: sought was nothing more nor less than an extension of the tolls 
\ i in points to which they had not laid claim before. They (the 
i citizens) denied the right of the Corporation altogether. Let 
] them go into the courts of law, as they did before with Mr. 

Pilsworth. Let them go outside the Exchange, and assert their 
: right ; let them stop a car, and a replevin would be entered 
: against them in half an hour, and the question would be tried 
the next term. They had an able and an intelligent law officer 
' in the Recorder ; let them, therefore, try the question of right in 
; the courts of law, and not petition parliament on the subject. 

[ 4i Mr. Eluis, M.P., Dublin, said that there ought to be an adjournment for 
the present. (Loud cries of 1 No, no.') 

" What was looked for now was a private bill, between the first and second 
reading of* which, in parliament, not less than three weeks should necessarily 
intervene. Would it not be better, then, to wait until they should have the bill 
itself before them, which he would engage they should have with the utmost 

' promptitude, and thus be enabled to see what its provisions really were, rather 
than to oppose it in entire ignorance of it. (No, no.) 

" He went on to assert that Mr. O'Connell was mistaken in supposing the 
question of tolls had never been tried. It had, and there had never been a deci- 
sion against the corporation. 

Mr. O'Connell denied that he had asserted that no legal pro- 
ceedings whatever had occurred with regard to the Corporation's 
right to levy tolls. This, however, he would assert, that the 
Corporation had been non- suited. 

With respect to the case of Reilly, he was fighting the Cor- 
poration, who were backed with £5000 a-year out of the tolls. 
The case was brought into the county of Wicklow, and because 
it did not proceed, they succeeded. Poor Reilly, who had not 
courage enough to put an '* 0" to his name, had not money to 
proceed, and this was the triumph of the Corporation ! 

He should be glad to know the name of the salesmaster that 
was alluded to. (Here the name of Colclough was mentioned.) 
He did not know whether this Mr. Colclough was a freeman or 
not, but he seemed in a great hurry to pay the costs ; and those 
were the cases that were relied on for establishing the right of 
the Corporation to toll ! He would remind them of the action, 
\ " Pilsworth v. Archer" Alderman Archer was able to defend 
! that case by his private fortune, but he had also the treasury of 
j the Corporation at his back. Mr. Pilsworth, however, was not 
j to be deterred : he was- resolved to leave the world better than 
I he found it. An order of judgment for the plaintiff was en- 



314 SELECT SPEECHES OF 

tered. There Alderman Archer was obliged to pay the costs 

and damages. 

The learned gentleman (Mr. Ellis) said, that if the tolls were 
illegal he would oppose them. He (Mr. O'Connell) should like 
to see him oppose the Corporation. (Great laughter.) He was 
of no party ! Oh, not he ! (Continued laughter.) He was 
your representative, forsooth ! (Laughter.) 

See how the Corporation conduct this affair. First, they say 
they have a right to tolls, and modestly ask leave to increase 
them. Then they say they have not a right to tolls, and require 
to be relieved from the £2000 a-year demanded by the Paving 
Board. He admitted that that claim of £2000 a-year by the 
Paving Board was a grievance, and as a freeholder, he was ready 
to join in a petition against it. What a country would not Ire- 
land be, if they, corporators and citizens, Protestants and Ca- 
tholics, would but join, would but unite, one and all, for the re- 
dress of their common grievances \ 

The people were as anxious as the corporators could be for 
British connexion — for one king — one constitution — that con- 
stitution which existed in such safety and vigour before, when 
Ireland had her own parliament. Had she that parliament now, 
there never would have been occasion for the species of charity- 
sermon which Mr. Ellis had preached upon the poverty of the 
country. (Cheers.) 

u After some further opposition, the Lord Mayor advised that Mr. Arabin's 
resolution should be let pass without a division. 

M Nicholas Mahon moved a resolution, deprecating in strong terms the con- 
duct of the corporation in making their pretended claims to tolls and customs. 

"Alderman Harty strongly opposed it, referring to the prosperity of Dublin 
when tolls were levied before the Union. 

" Mr. O'Connell said that, as counsel for the corporation — (a laugh) — he 
would say that it was a hardship that £2,000 should be demanded of them for 
what they did not receive, and were not entitled to. 

" Alderman Harty said that the country was prosperous before the Union. 
Why, then they had upwards of two hundred resident noblemen in Dublin, be- 
sides six or seven and twenty bishops — (laughter) — who went regularly to the 
levees in coaches and six, and kept livery servants, who lived like gentlemen of 
fortune. Luxury then bore a high price. 

[" The Lord Mayor here observed that'the learned gentleman was wandering 
into extraneous matter. 

Mr. O'Connell resumed — If Alderman Harty was allowed to 
argue in support of tolls on the ground of the state of Ireland 
before the Union, when there were two hundred and fifty resi- 
dent nobility in the city, it was competent for him to show that 
the Union had taken away their resources. 



DANIEL O'CON^ELL, ESQ., M.P. 315 

It was said that the Irish parliament was corrupt ; but there 
were eighty, and from that to ninety-six, constantly voting in 
the oppositions, and that was a greater number, in proportion, i 
than in the British House of Commons. 

The Corporation never called on the poverty of the people to 
pay tolls, because they paid them when they were rich and 
I ! flourishing. They all recollected the numberless riots they oc~ 
I casiooed. The police were often sent out to the toll-gates, and 
: returned bleeding and crying to AMerman Archer. If the tolls ; 
| were again brought forward, and an attempt was made to levy j 
i them, was it not very probable that some one would whisper to 
; the boys — " When an attempt was made before to levy tolls, you 
beat the Corporation. They then gave them up. Why should 
! you not beat them again. 5 ' (Cheers.) 

" Alderman Archer suggested an adjournment as the best means of conct- 
; liation. 

I 1 Mr Kirwan ridiculed the proposition, and called the corporation ' the 
j worst curse with which the city of Dublin was disgraced.' 

11 The Lord Mayor and Mr. J. B. Fitzsimons defended the corporation. 

w Mr. Mahon's resolution was put, and carried, as were some other resolu- 
tions,, and the meeting broke up." 

It will be seen that whatever might he the business of the hour— however engrossing 
I the Immediate object on which he was engaged — Mr. 0'Connell*s mind constantly and 
j eagerly reverted to the great business and object of his life— the Repeal of the Union. '- 

Ai-d evidencing it thus in public, his family and friends knew how unremittingly his 
! thoughts were occupied in private with the prospect of Ireland's regeneration, and how 
• well he was entitled to address her in the lines so frequently used by him in his speeches — 

j 

44 Still shalt thou be my midnight dream, 
Thy glories still my waking theme ! 
And every thought and wish of mine, 
Unconquered Erin, shall be thine F 



CATHOLIC ASSOCIATION, May 15, 1824. 

At a meeting on the loth of May, a letter was read from "Sir. Plunkett, then Attorney- 
General (and it can scarcely be necessary to repeat late Lord Plnnkett, and an ex chancellor 
of Ireland) in which he expressed his readiness to accept the Catholic petition, recently ten- 
dered to him and to present it without any delay. But, he added, that in his opinion, at 
that period of the session, there was no possibility of any measure passing, nor any hope 
of a discussion useful to the Catholics. 

Mr. O'ConnelVs maxim, however, was, that the advocates of a cause, good in itself 
should be instant in season or out of season ; and he argued that whatever might be the 



31G 



SELECT SPEECHES OP 



fate of the individual motion, yet the display of energy and untiring perseverance, tould 
not fail to have an effect. And, accordingly, the very frequent similar representations of 
the parliamentary patrons of the Catholic cause, with which the working agitators at home 
\* ere so frequently assailed, but rarely met with attention, or caused the onward progress 
of the movement to be for one moment checked. 

The word in italics (viz., patrons) in the foregoing sentence, requires a few remarks here. 
It was observed that the great majority, if not all, of the parliamentary friends of the 
Catholics, assumed towards the latter a tone of condescension and generous protection 
and patronage, not a little galling to some of the proud spirits among them. -To quarrel 
with this demeanor would have been to lose the assistance and advocacy of those gracious 
patrons. But Mr. O'Connell, and many with him, bore with no very great amount of 
patience and resignation, these assumptions of exalted superiority, and longed for "eman- 
cipation" from this petty degradation and annoyance, as heartily and earnestly as from 
the greater and more important restrictions and injustices under which the Catholic body 
were suffering. 

The answer given to Mr. Plunkett's patronizing letter by the Catholic Association, on 
motion of Mr. O'Connell, was : — 

M That the committee be directed again to address the Right Honourable the 
Attorney -General, William Conyngham Plunkett, and thanking him very 
respectfully for his kindness in presenting our petition, to request of him in tha 
most pressing terms to procure a discussion on the Catholic question as speedily 
as possible." 

The rest of the sitting was occupied with speeches on the subject of certain then recent 
attackB upon the Catholic clergy of Ireland, by one body of persons who had designated 
themselves as the "London Hibernian School Society," and in their annual report, -just 
published, had been guilty of the calumnies alluded to. Mr. O'Connell also took occasion 
to make an appeal to the Society of Friends, or to use their more familiar denomination, 
the Quakers. He remarked upon the inconsistency of their conduct at that time, when, as 
he said : — 

1 Asserting a most active love of freedom, they get up petitions to parliament 
for the relief of the West India slaves ; but show themselves utterly regardless 
of the most miserable condition of the wretched bondsmen of their own country." 

The society in question have certainly, during the grievous years at present elapsed 
since the confirmed failure of the potato in Ireland, in the autumn of 184(J, redeemed them- 
selves nobly from all charge that they were regardless of the actual physical wretchedness 
of the Irish peasantry. Nothing, certainly, could have been more admirable in extent, 
efficiency and quality of the relief they have administered. They have not only giveu 
food to the starving, clothing to the naked, and medicine to the sick and failing ; but they 
have attempted, and with success, considering the comparatively restricted scope of their 
means, the nobler charity of putting the destitute peasantry of the West in a position to 
maintain themselves by their own industry ; no meed of praise can indeed be considered too 
high for their deserving on these accounts. 

But, as has been remarked In an earlier volume, their liability, at least at the periods 
(for the periods were more than one) when Mr. O'Connell felt himself called upon to make 
such remarks as that just mentioned, there is no doubt that the Irish portion of the Society 
of Friends were obnoxious to his charge. For what unhappy reason it skills not here to 
Inquire into and expose, the Quakers of Ireland sadly differed in their behaviour on political 
occasions from their brethren of the sister- country ; and while those political reform?, the 
justice and necessity of which very few, indeed, of any party, are now to be found ready to 
contest, had no stauncher or truer advocates and supporters than the Quakers of England 
generally, their Irish brethren were only too often and too constantly found in close alliance 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



and companionship with the opponents of all amelioration of political institutions, and 
the defenders of the Avorst abuses. 

It is true that many of them were used to shelter themselves under the plea that "the? 
were no politicians" when pressed hard to imitate the stout example and efforts of English 
Quakers. But that plea never deceives in Ireland, where, as Mr. O'Connell used to phraso 
it, " the man that says he has no politics, generally contrives to act in accordance with the 
worst," and is never for a moment credited in the assertion by any party. 

Mr. O'Connell, however, even when reluctantly censuring that body for what appeared 
to him, with his ardent love of Ireland, and ever active sympathies with the distresses aud 
miseries of her people, a really criminal faineance, or still more criminal coalition with her 
oppressors and enemies, never refused to bear his tribute to the general worth of the Irish 
' Quakers, or to the prompt and vigorous aid they gave in conjunction with the ELgllsh 
Society, to the cause of Negro emancipation. The parties whom he thus partly censured 
and partly praised, did not, perhaps, appear to attach much weight to his words in either 
case ; but he not the less readily and heartily paid the tribute of approbation and respect 
on every occasion, and they were not few, when he conceived it to be justly owing to them. 

Upon the same day that the proceedings already noted took -place, namely, the 15th of 
May, the letters of Lord Brougham and the late Lord Grey were read, acknowledging the 
receipt of the Catholic petition entrusted to them, but finding fault with some of the para- 
graphs that they contained. Lord Grey's words were : — 

" I am bound in fairness to apprise you, that the other objects with which the 
prayer for Emancipation is connected, appear to have been unnecessarily intro- 
duced ; and are calculated rather to injure than assist you ; and I should feel it 
incumbent on me to declare they could not have my concurrence. " 

Lord Brougham, then of course Henry Brougham, in the lower house, thus wrote:— 

44 1 cannot agree with some of the opinions expressed in it, and must therefore 

8ay, that I am not prepared to support parts of the prayer 1 am willing 

to present the petition generally, — signifying, that in some respects, I differ witli 
the petitioners. I regret they have so far increased their demands." 

The terrible demands which so frightened Lords Brougham and Grey from their pro- 
priety, will be gathered from Mr. O'Connell's speech on this occasion. 

Nothing can better depict the miserable condition of the Catholics than the circumstance 
of this remonstrance from their gracious patrons in Parliament against matters of plain 
right and justice, plainly, and most rightly, and justly asked for in their petition. 

Mr. O'Connell, who arrived during the reading of Mr. Brough- 
am's last letter, proposed that Lord Grey and Mr. Brougham 
should be written to, stating that it was the wish of the Asso- 
ciation that the petition should be presented in its present form, 
in order that the Catholics might obtain as much of the relief 
prayed for as possible. 

The petition stated evils that are admitted to have exist* d, 
and although the mode of administering relief may be a fair sub- 
ject of difference, yet none of the opposition members deny the 
facts stated in the petition ; nor can the opponents of the Catho- 
lics disprove them, as unfortunately they are too manifest to 
every person acquainted with Ireland. The prayer of the peti- 
tion embraced four heads of grievance,^ very one of which were 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



j already publicly admitted in the country, and had engaged the 
attention of parliament. 

The first prayer was for a reformation in the temporalities of 
the Church Establishment of Ireland. It was admitted by some 
j of the warmest defenders of the Irish Church Establishment, 
| that with the poorest population, and the smallest congregation, 
! the Irish Protestant Church was the richest establishment in 
| the world, and that it was infinitely greater than was necessary, 
it being three times as much as was allotted to the whole estab- 
lishment of the Catholic and Protestant clergy in France, for 
the service of twenty-six millions of persons. He believed that 
if the whole number of Protestants, in communion with the 
i Established Church, were accurately counted, it would be found 
j that the cost of their religious instruction and superintendence, 
j was to Ireland not less, at any rate, than about twenty shillings 
j per head per annum. 

\ The petition did not pray any interference with the spiritual 
| functions of the clergy, or the doctrines of their church ; but 
as the Catholics were the principal contributors to this immense 
! revenue, they merely prayed for such reformation as was neces- 
sary for the relief of the impoverished people. It could not be 
j said that this prayer sprung from mere sectarian enmity on the 
' part of the Catholics to the Established Church. All the re- 
strictive statutes that are now in force against ecclesiastical pro- 
perty in these countries, were passed by Catholic parliaments, 
when Catholic bishops were lords of parliament. 

The second prayer of the petition was for the better regulation 
of juries. If the legislature have any intention of ever causing 
tranquillity in Ireland, they will grant this prayer, which goes 
to deprive Orangemen of the means of effecting, through the 
laws, their sworn hostility to the lives, liberties, and properties 
• of the Catholics. The law should be like Csesar's wife — above 
suspicion. It was notorious that Orangemen had generally 
shown themselves unfit for the office of magistrates where Ca- 
tholics were concerned, and how much more so must they be 
for that of jurors. 

The next prayer of the Catholics was for the disfranchisement 
of the existing rotten borough corporations. The time when 
the utility of corporations in Ireland could be contended for, 
was long since gone by. They were now nothing but monstrous 
nuisances, and only served to organize bigotry, and to procure 
' members to misrepresent the people of Ireland in parliament. 
What had the corporation of Dublin effected for the citizens 



DANIEL O'COKNBLI, ESQ.j M.P. 



33 9 



in the representation of their city 1 Why, but for " their hon- 
ours" the people of Dublin would not have had to send to 
Youghal or Kinsale to seek a representative, or to select as their 
member, a gentleman who, though very amiable in private life, 
not having succeeded in his profession of barrister, purchased a 
place. The commercial city of Dublin, as if to give an exem- 
plification of ridicule in the extreme, choses a master in chan- 
cery to represent it in parliament. The other corporation mem- 
ber, Sir Eobert Shaw, was a worthy man in his own family, but 
if it were not for the corporation, the citizens of Dublin would 
have left the worthy baronet in quiet with his family. Again, 
there was the rotten corporation of the city of Kilkenny. They 
could not get a gentleman of intelligence in their own county 
able to represent them in parliament, but were compelled to 
send all the way to the province of Connaught, where, at length, 
they found a right honourable — no less a personage than Mr. 
Denis Browne. 

The corporation of the city of Limerick were ably represented, 
but then it was so actually in despite of and in opposition to 
the corporation, who had Mr. Spring Rice forced upon them by 
the voices of the independent citizens. There was also some 
decency in the representations of the city of Cork, but it was 
owing to the power and influence of the corporation having been 
neutralized by the introduction of so many independent freemen. 
Yet this honest corporation of Cork was at this moment seeking 
by proceedings in the King's Bench to prevent the people of 
that great city from purchasing meat or fish out of any other 
but the corporation markets ! — a monopoly which must, of 
course, be highly injurious to the consumer. And the worthy 
corporation of Dublin had exercised their powers to defeat the 
intentions of the legislature, for although the Catholics were 
qualified to become freemen during the last thirty-one years, 
yet not one Catholic had been able to obtain that privilege. 
Heaven knows, slavish and cringing Catholics enough could have 
been had if they had been looked for • but even with such, the 
corporation bigots would have nought to do, for the high criia 
of being Catholics at all. 

The fourth prayer of the Catholic petition was for the removal 
of the disqualifications to which Catholics are now subject, and 
in that prayer both Lord Grey and Mr. Brougham agreed. 
Therefore, in his (Mr. O'Connell's) opinion there was nothing 
objectionable in the petition, and it was drawn up with great 
talent and ability, and spoke in such language, that if it had 



320 



SELECT SPEECHES OIF 



been used in their petition twenty years ago, would have ob- 
<>ained them emancipation. Mr. O'Connell then moved that the 
secretary be instructed to write to Lord Grey and Mr. Brougham 
requesting of them to present the petition in its present form ; 
and if they cannot approve of the whole of its prayer, that they 
will support as much of it as they can. 

Allusion being subsequently made to a statement by Lord Enmsmore in parliament, 
respecting a charge made against him by a clergyman, for seeking to force his tenants to 
send their children to a bible school — 

Mr. O'Connell said, that when so humble an individual as 
himself felt anxious that what he said should not be misrepre- 
sented, it was natural that a gentleman of Lord Ennismore's 
rank should be desirous of correcting any unfounded imputations 
on his character and conduct. The word " corresponding" had 
been added to the name of secretary, for those appointed to 
manage the collection of the Catholic rent, but as he (Mr 
O'Connell) was anxious to avoid involving the Association, in 
the remotest degree, by word or sound, he had been careful not 
to use any phrase that might be construed under the existing 
laws against illegal societies ; and as there was an express enact- 
ment against "Corresponding Societies," he took care not to 
use the word " corresponding" when naming the secretaries. 

He had been also represented as having eulogized Mr. Ensor, 
by contrasting his services with those of other Irishmen. But 
he (Mr. O'C.) had too high an opinion of Mr. Ensor's taste and 
feeling, to think he would receive as a compliment any reflection 
upon such Irishmen as Lord Cloncurry, Colonel Butler, and j 
others. Mr. Ensor would rather be considered one of their col- 
leagues in the same glorious cause. / 

Mr. O'Connell then proceeded move, according to his notice, j 
" that the Rev. Messrs. Kirby and Mulcahy should be written j 
to for an explanation of that passage in their letter, alluding to 
Lord Ennismore's harsh treatment of his twenty-eight tenants, 
on account of their refusing to send their children to the Pro- 
testant school. 

MEETING, SATURDAY, MAY 22, 1824. 
Stephen Coppinger, Esq., in the Chair 



Mr. O'Conxeli, rose and said, that as a letter from Letterkenny had been 
received respecting the education of the Catholics of that town, he could not 
omit the opportunity of stating an interesting fact that had occurred touching 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



321 



Ch? subject, A few assizes since there had occurred a revenue trial in the town 
of Letterkenny, and Mr. Deane Grady was counsel for the revenue. At the 
trial, a young man, aged about 18 years, was examined as a witness. * lie was 
extremely well dressed and in good circumstances, but it appeared he could nei- 
ther read nor write ; and he was asked by a junior counsel, with an air of 
triumph, what religion he was of? When to the evident surprise of the ques- 
tioner, he answered " a Protestant.'' The next witness was a young girl, of 
eight or nine years old, and upon her being asked to put her mark to some paper, 
she immediately said she could write. She was then asked what religion she 
was of r and replied w a Catholic," and added, that M she went to the school in the 
chapel." Mr. Grady had observed upon the circumstance as a striking instance 
of the benefits of education, and declared that it was highly creditable to the 
Catholic clergyman of that town. 

HIS GRACE THE ARCHBISHOP OF DUBLIN-* 

Mr. O'Connell complained of a gross mis-statement that had appeared 
some of the newspapers of this city, but which, he believed, had originated wi 
The Correspondent- He was represented as desiring to excite the people to 
assassinate Dr. Magee in the course of some late observations of his on the 
Burial BilL Mr. O'Connell expressed his abhorrence of such principles as were 
attributed to him in The Correspondent, and repeated what he had really said on 
the occasion alluded to. 

THE LAI'S FERMANAGH MURDERS. 

Mr. O'Connell gave notice of a motion for the appointment of a committee 
to prepare a petition to Parliament upon the subject of the recent murders in the 
county Fermanagh by the Orangemen, praying that Parliament would either 
deprive the Orangemen of their fire-arms, or permit the Catholics to keep them, 
in order to obtain that protection which the Government does not afford thjiin. 

Mr. O'Connell moved a resolution contradicting a passage in the annual 
report of the London Hibernian School, which had accused the Catholic priest- 
hood of opposing education. 

Mr. O'Connell took a review of the proceedings of the Hibernian Society, and 
requested most particularly to be understood as separating the Chairman of their 
meeting, the Marquis of Lansdowne, (who could never be mentioned but with 
respect,) from any participation in the illiberal opinions and ungentlemanly con- 
duct of those who composed that meeting, at which a hearing or any explana- 
tion was rudely refused to Mr. Eneas McDonnell respecting their calumny on the 
Catholic priesthood. 

The resolution was then put and carried unanimously, as was also a resolu- 
tion of thanks to Mr. Eneas M'Dozmeil, for his spirited conduct at that meeting 

The foiegoing will give an instance of the variety of matters with which the almost 
infant Catholic Association was beginning to have to deal. The allusion to the attempts o 
the Catholic clergy to spread education, involves a fact very little known to the general 
public, and indeed often sedulously concealed from them, under the strange impression 
-hat if the real extent of those efforts were known, it would take away from the merits of i 
the existing system of National Education in Ireland, in the minds of those who are dis- j 
posed to approve of state intermeduangs in matters of education. 

The allusion to Orange outrages in the North is, umortunately, one that wonld not be 
oat of date at this moment. Substituting merely the locality in the county Down that 
▼as the scene of the massacre of last July, for that of the county Fermanagh 

VOL. U. ~ x 



322 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



1 he newspaper from which we quote proceeds as follows in its account of the o currences 
f*i'tLis day's. meeting 

EXTRAORDINARY PROCEEDING. 

xt may be recollected that at the Meeting of the Association, which took place 
on the 15th instant, Mr. Shiel was frequently interrupted by a young gentle- 
man ; a stranger called out, "No, no," during Mr. S.'s observations on the con- 
duct of the Protestant clergymen of Dublin, with respect to the Burial Bill. 
When Mr. Shiel had concluded on that occasion, Mr. O'Connell invited the 
young gentleman to state any fact in contradiction to what had fallen from Mr. 
Shiel, assuring him that he should be heard with attention and courtesy. 

The young gentleman on that occasion declined to avail himself of Mr. O'Con- 
nell's courtesy, but appeared this day ; and after the conversation respecting the 
Quakers, proceeded to address the meeting in a very solemn tone : accusing 
them of faction, sedition, desire of inciting the mob to violence, and to the mur- 
der of Protestants, &c. ; particularly blaming Mr. O'Connell as the most dan- 
gerous from his talents. Several gentlemen interrupted him, protesting against 
his being heard as he was not a member ; but Mr. O'Connell insisted on his 
being allowed to go on and finish, if only for the reason that he was a Protes- 
tant, as it should not be said a Protestant was denied a hearing This indul- 
gence disconcerted the orator more than anything else ; and he soon sat down. 

Mr. O'Connell rose, and addressing the Chair with great cool- 
ness said — I have often wondered how Ireland should be accursed 
with an atrocious faction of Orange assassins ; how the foul fiend 
of that desperate faction could have acquired so monstrous an 
ascendancy over the feelings of Irishmen, that no innocency of 
life, weakness of sex, or infirmity of age, could prevent the daring 
contempt of the laws of God and nature ! But I shall wonder 
no more ! Oh, Heavens ! in what society has this young lad 
been reared, that at his age and with his education he should 
have acquired opinions and feelings, the mere expression of which 
makes humanity shudder ? 

Amongst what other class of men than Orangemen could he 
have imbibed such unchristian ideas ? They could not have been 
engendered by any thing spoken in this room. He professes to 
be a Protestant ; but did one Christian sentiment drop from his 
lips during his canting harangue . Is b " Protestant friendly 
to civil and religiour libertv ? Th fanatical animosity with 
which he charges atrocities upon krish Catholics, without stating 
one single fact to justify his calumnies, proves that he is not a 
friend to toleration, and that his shallow mind, perverted intel- 
lect, and habitual prejudices, have so overwhelmed common 
sense that he has been unable to acquire any knowledge of pass- 
ing events, but from the statements of the minister, the Orange 
magistrate, and his myrmidons; and from these authentic 
sources, the people are to learn, spite of daily and woeful expe- 



DANIEL CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 323 

Hence to the country, that forsooth the laws are impartially 
administered — that the peasant has no grievance or oppression, 
ecclesiastical, civil, or criminal, to complain of — that the Catholic 
gentry enjoy all the privileges and benefits of the constitution. 

This latter extraordinary assertion reminds me of an anecdot6 
of a French officer, who once observed of an actor, " That fellow, 
a mere comedian, has fifty thousand francs a year, whilst I, one 
of the noblesse, have but fifty francs." " Aye," replied the actor, 
" but is it not worth the difference to have the privilege of telling 
me so V And may not this young lad say to me, true you are 
my inferior in birth — (No, no, from the young gentleman and 
his brother) — the descendant of the ancient Irish proprietors of 
\he soil, yourself a proprietor of no inconsiderable portion, you 
may be at the head of your profession, and to which you arrived 
solely by your own energies and industry, but you are — a Catho- 
lic, and because I came reeking from the drunken orgies of a 
secret and sworn band of fanatics, I am entitled, without any 
i other qualification or merit than infuriated bigotry, to ascend 
the highest step of the ladder of ambition or professional pro- 
motion, whilst you have the privilege- — of looking at me there. 

This young gentleman may be but the tutored agent of some 
plodding, hoary miscreant, who, " sick at heart," in seeing the 
Catholic Association rise to importance, spite of calumny and 
misrepresentation, dreads its determination to make known to 
the world the abuses of power, to proclaim the oppression of the 
task-masters of Ireland, the intrigues and profligacy of a "fac- 
; tion obnoxious to all good men — a faction that has grown old and 
rich in power, by the basest arts and the most corrupt insinua- 
tion — a faction which has lorded it over the land without con- 
trol, and spread its roots in the dark, even to the basement of 
the British throne." This may be an expiring effort of tyranny 
and weakness, or it may be the mere wanton prank of privileged 
insolence in this young exclusionest, anxious for the exercise of 
his inherent right to insult an oppressed and degraded people 
— for he may be a bravo hired by the Orange club to assail my 
character and motives, in order to furnish materials for some 
slanderous attack upon me in an Orange journal — perhaps the 
article is already prepared for one of the morning papers ; but, 
Sir, 1 "have now passed that time of life when mere personal 
ribaldry can make me forgetful of the obedience I owe my Maker, 
and of my duty to my family, and would to God. Sir, I had 
ever been guided by the same feeling ! 

Then let this juvenile intolerant report to his employers, that 



i 



324 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



I withstood his impotent rage, unmoved by the vile calumnies 
to which it gave utterance — that his slanders were to me but 
as play-things to a boy, which, after amusing him, he flings to 
the wind — that in him we recognised an epitome of those odious 
peculiarities which distinguish the heartless Orangemen, and 
that his monstrous audacity in coming into an assembly of 
Catholics, whom he charged with the vilest atrocities, but dared 
not to support by one proof, served but to excite our quiet 
contempt ; whilst we could not withhold our pity at his early 
desertion of all those amiable and honourable feelings and prin~ 
ciples necessary to the profession of a Christian, and to discharg- 
ing the duties of a good citizen and a good subject 1 

And now, Sir, having thus instructed this intemperate youth, 
let us proceed with the business of the day. 

The speaker sat down amid general and hearty cheering. 

Mr O'Connell was followed in his animadversions upon the party who had 
made this interruption by Mr. Shiel and Mr. Kirwan ; the latter of whom having 
used some strong language, was called upon by the unknown for his card. The 
would-be challenger, however, refusing to state his own name, &c, his request 
was declined, and he speedily after made the best of his way out of the place. 
When this matter was concluded, the business o£the day re-commenced. 



CATHOLIC BARRISTERS. 

Mr. O'Connell proceeded to move his resolution respecting the 
statements of Mr. Goulburn, that appointments to the value of 
£3,000 per annum had been bestowed, under the Marquis of 
Wellesley's government in Ireland, upon Catholic Barristers. 

Mr. O'Connell said, that he was aware he laid himself open 
to the stupid satire of The Correspondent, which would, no doubt, 
accuse him of envy, at not having obtained some of those ap- 
pointments, which the law declared him eligible to ; but the 
whole course of his public career, and the principles he professed 
on the subject of Parliamentary Reform, made it impossible 
(supposing he wished for it) to expect any situation from govern- 
ment. No love of power, no desire of emolument, should ever 
induce him to natter the vices of the great, or assail the honest 
exertions of the poor. He had thus commenced with alluding 
to himself, in order to exclude from the subject the ribaldry oi 
bigotry, or the feelings of personal disappointment, with which 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M,P. 



325 



ie might be assailed or accused. It was stated that there were nc 
means of ascertaining how many Catholic barristers were at the 
Irish bar ; but nothing was more easily known, for there was a 
separate roll of them kept in the Chancery registry, and there 
were at this moment one hundred and fifty Catholic barristers 
at the Irish bar, not one of whom enjoyed any professional ap- j 
pointment under government. The administration of the Mar- j 
quis Wellesley made not the slightest difference as to the dis- ! 
tribution of preferment or appointment amongst the Catholic 
barristers ; yet Mr. Goulburn (then Secretary for Ireland) had 
modestly taken credit for appointments to the value of £3,000 
per annum amongst Catholic barristers ! 

Mr. Goulburn' s statement was given in the newspapers in the 
plural number. Now it was unquestionably a fact, that an Irish 
Catholic had received an appointment to that amount, and it j 
was equally true, that the appointment was well bestowed • that | 
the gentleman is attentive to his duties, that he thoroughly un- 
derstands his business, and has given general satisfaction to the 
profession and the suitors ; and he would further vouch for Mr. 
Blake, that any thing said in that meeting would have no influ- 
ence upon his (Mr. Blake's) mind in the discharge of his duties. 
So much could not be said in other offices, where a more pecu- 
liar mode of doing business prevailed. He (Mr. O'Connell) made 
that observation because he had known, felt, and experienced 
the fact. He could speak of these circumstances with pride, ; 
because of the contrast ; but that appointment, though it may 
add to the credit of Catholic talent, was no compliment paid to 
the Catholic bar of Ireland, nor could Mr. Goulburn take credit 
for it. Mr. Blake had risen to a proud eminence at the English 
bar, and he made a sacrifice of higher emoluments than his pre- 
sent office to the friendship of the Marquis Wellesley, whose 
esteem he was fortunate enough to obtain. 

He (Mr. O'Connell) did not mean to censure the Marquis 
Wellesley — much less to attribute to him any hostile feelings 
towards Catholic aspirants, when he commented upon the ne- 
glect of the Catholic bar ; for the Marquis, if he had it in his 
power, there was no doubt, would give the Catholics fair play: he 
had made the experiment, and they all knew the result ; but he 
(Mr. O'Connell) ventured to blame the illuvtrious Wellesley, 
because with a sad forgetfulness of what was due to his own re- 
putation, and of the position, in the eyes of the people of the 
three kingdoms, to which his high qualities had elevated him ; 
no had descended to trail his laurels and his honours in the dust 



326 



SELECT SPEECHES OP 



aud mire of that party which insulted his person and would sully 
his fame. 

The learned gentleman proceeded to state, that having so 
proudly referred to Mr. Blake's discharge of his official duties, 
he could, with equal satisfaction, refer to the administration of 
justice through more officially important, though less exalted 
individuals. On his (Mr. O'Conneli's) circuit he was generally 
employed for the most of the unhappy criminals ; and whilst it 
was indispensably necessary for Catholics to challenge Protestant 
jurors, there was scarce an instance of Orangemen challenging 
Gatholic jurors. "When he (Mr. O'Connell) alluded to the neces- 
sity of challenging Protestant jurors, he begged to be understood 
as meaning Orange Protestants ; he should be sorry to confound 
the terms, or to consider them synonymous. 

Mr. O'Connell then adverted to the period of Mr. Saurin's 
having filled the office of Attorney- General, when that reckless 
partizan and Lord Manners had, in fact, the command of the 
country for sixteen or seventeen years. During that time there 
was, as it were, a premium upon the avowal by any member of 
the bar of sentiments of illiberality and intolerance — sentiments 
that previously no man would have had the evil courage of 
publishing and proclaiming. 

Latterly, however, there has been a considerable improvement 
amongst the learned body — a return to the better practice of 
former times ; but assuredly Mr. Goulburn had no right and 
should not be allowed to take credit for it. There was another 
matter to advert to, viz. : — Mr. Goulburn's statement of the con- 
stabulary appointments, of which he said one-half were Catho- 
lics. Now although there was no great stretch of liberality 
where the Catholics were fifty to one, yet he (Mr. O'Connell) 
could vouch for the accuracy of the statement as respected the 
county of Kerry, and what was the consequence ? Why, that 
that county was the only one in which there had not been mur- 
ders and aggressions by the police, and although it had been one 
of the most disturbed counties in the kingdom, it was now the 
most tranquil. 

But was that owing to Mr. Goulburn? ISTo — because the 
magistracy of the county Kerry kept the appointments of the 
constables to themselves. 

But if the English ministry took their stand for liberality in 
the appointment of a portion of Catholic policemen, he (Mr. 
O'Connell) assured them he should defeat all their boasted libe- 
rality by the mention of as monstrous an act of intolerance and 



DANIEL o'CONITCLL, ESQ., M.F. 



327 



Ivigotry as Lad ever come within his knowledge. He could give 
a]l the particulars if required. The case was this : a gentleman, 
a major in the army, who had served during the Peninsular war, 
having received a wound in the knee, was obliged to retire from 
the service. This gentleman applied to an English member of 
parliament, the representative of one of the most important 
mercantile towns in England, and requested his interference 
with the minister to procure him the appointment of a chief 
constable in a police district in Ireland. The member took a 
memorandum of the major's services, and felt confident of his 
success with the minister, upon whom he afterwards waited. 
The minister promised compliance ; but after the next interview 
the member asked the major, as his name was rather a Popish 
one, if he had many Papist relations. The minister suggested 
that that might be the case. The major declared he had, and 
that he was a Papist himself ; and upon the member informing 
the minister of that circumstance, he was told that the major 
could not be appointed. (Hear, hear, hear.) 

That was a fact for the truth of which he (Mr. O'C.) pledged 
' himself! 

Mr. O'Connell concluded by moving a resolution, declaring, 
that since the Catholic barristers became eligible to many offices, 
I that not one had been appointed by the government. 

The resolution passed unanimously. 

Of Mr. Goulburn s personal liberality, while in the office of Secretary for Ire- 
land, the following circumstance will enable the reader to form a judgment. 

The excellent and truly respected Mr. Bianconi, of Clonmel — at present a 
considerable land proprietor of the county Tipperary, and holding a position of 
deserved weight and importance, was at the time of Mr. Goulburn's secretary- 
ship in Ireland, engaged in his first efforts to build up the handsome fortune that 
has rewarded his extraordinary energy and perseverance. Mr. Bianconi had 
started a number of large stage-cars, to carry travellers and goods, in severe 
counties of the south of Ireland ; and in the prosecution of his enterprise, had 
found his arrangements much embarrassed by the operation of some of the petty 
annoyances to foreigners embodied in the then existing Alien Act. Mr. Bian- 
coni, it cannot be necessary to say to an Irish reader, is a foreigner — an Italian, 
a native of 'Bologna,, in the north of Italy, which he had left while yet a boy, 
and whence he had wandered, somehow or other, all the way to Ireland, in | 1 
almost utter poverty and without friends. Here the chance sale of a scanty 
stock of plaster images that he carried on his head, had given him some trifling 
means, which with that extraordinary prudence and management that have dis- j 
tinguished him throughout life, he contrived so well to husband and lay out as 
gradually to accumulate more ; until at length he set about what has been the 
occupation of his life and the foundation of his fortunes — the originating a sys- | 
tern of cheap, facile, and convenient stage communication between the market- 
towns of Ireland In the course of the development of his scheme, he had, as wo i ! 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



have mentioned found hilnself mnch T cnppled and embarrassed by the enactments 
bearing against him as a foreigner ; and being advised to look for the privilege 
of " denizenship" which would secure him against these annoyances, applied to 
the Irish government, through Mr. Goulburn, the proper channel, for the conces- 
sion of that privilege. An old law of the sectarian Irish Parliament gave it at 
once to a foreign Protestant ; but it depended on the favour of the government 
whether the letter of the Alien Act should be relaxed, according to the powers 
given them in that act itself, in any other case. 

Mr. Bianconi's application was warmly supported by gentlemen of the first 
station and respectability in more than one of the counties through which his 
cars ran, and by several who were active supporters of the government itself; 
but the fact coming, as of course it directly did, to Mr. Goulburn *s knowledge, 
that the applicant was a Papist, he declined to interfere, and left Mr. Bianconi 
under all the most unmerited disadvantages from which the slightest representa- 
tion from the Secretary for Ireland in his favour would have infallibly caused 
him to be relieved I 



DISARMING OF ORANGEMEN. 

Mr. O'Connell read the draft of a petition agreed to by the committee appointed to pre- 
pare a petition for disarming Orangemen ; and an amendment having been suggested to 
one of the clauses of it — 

Mr. O'Connell replied that the amendment would not answer 
the object of the petitioners, who, unless they are worth £1000, 
or a fee-simple estate of £100 per annum, are not entitled to 
keep arms ; and all the petitioners complain of is that their 
professed and sanguinary enemies, although not worth the fee- 
simple of a glass of whiskey, are permitted the enjoyment of a 
privilege which enables them to commit such atrocious murders 
upon the defenceless and unoffending. 

It is the duty of a government to protect the subjects, and 
which, in this instance, they are able to do, by depriving the 
furious and factious of the means of oifence. It was idle to argue 
that the superior number of Catholics render it necessary to 
afford Orangemen a countervailing power by the possession of 
fire-arms : for such a position implied premises that he should 
regret were sanctioned by rational men. That argument pre- 
sumed a necessity for the existence of Orangemen ; and if that 
principle was admitted, he could not dispute the conclusion 
that hostility would exist between the Orangemen and the Ca- 
tholics. 

But let them consider the point as between Protestants and 
Catholics. Surely it was not meant to contend that Protes- 



DANIEL CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



329 



tants required the protection of fire-arms to preserve them from . 
the violence of Catholics % If such an alarming and calumnious 
doctrine were sought to be established, he (Mr. O'C.) could ad- 
duce a striking instance in elucidation; for in his own barony, where 
there were 14,700 Catholics and about 80 Protestants, none of whom 
were Orangemen, an outrage against Protestants was unknown. 

But the basis of the objection was confounded, for the petition 
principally alluded to the aggressions of the Orangemen in the 
north. There they were superior to the Catholics in number — 
there, too, they were armed — and there, with indignation and sor- 
row must it be told, the Catholics are only considered as ani- 
mals whose immolation to the god of frenzied, factious bigotry, 
is necessary to the existence of Orangemen ; but if the Orange- 
men were deprived of those weapons of destruction, they would 
cease to be offensive, as the Catholics would be upon an equal 
footing, and personal prudence would suggest to others, that as 
those, whom they now goad into opponents, were able to protect 
themselves, aggression would be a hazardous pastime ; not as 
at present, when they commence by creating a mere riot in a 
fair, and appear determined to contend upon equal terms, or 
with no other weapon than what is within the reach of all par- 
ties — the shilelah. But when they have drawn the poor de- 
luded people into the affray, then they retreat to their depot of 
fire-arms, and return, dealing death and destruction, without 
distinction of age or sex, amongst the opposite party. 

Now, the object of the petition was to deprive the armed 
Orangemen of having the lives of Catholics at their mercy, and 
to place both parties on an equal footing. As to the means of 
offence in possession of Catholics, government was able to pro- 
tect the lives of all ; or if so absurd an apprehension existed, as 
that the Catholics would persecute either Protestants or Orange- 
men, (he did not at all mean to include the two latter under the 
same head), why, let government send a sufficient armed force 
under responsible control, to protect the Orangemen. 

But could a sensible, unprejudiced man pretend there wer v 
any grounds for such apprehension ? Would not every Catho- 
lic at all influenced by the precepts of his religion, throw his 
arm of protection round the Protestant whose life should be 
threatened by the infidel abusing the name of Catholic, and who 
should learn, that a religion having Christianity for its basis, 
requires no human force for its preservation ? But when do 
Protestants complain of being abused from Catholic numerical 
force ? 



330 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



Has any instance of it occurred in the south of Ireland, where 
the Protestants are so far outnumbered by the Catholics ? Oi 
did it occur in Dublin, where, according to the census of the- 
late Rev. Mr. Whitelaw, a Protestant divine, the Catholics had j 
doubled their number within the last seventy years, and where | 
they are now seven-eighths of the entire population? When 
have Orangemen complained of Catholics having injured them, 
tod that they did not receive redress 1 

But have not the Catholics been slaughtered in their beds, 
and in the streets ? Does not the blood of slaughtered Catho- j 
lies rise against the Orangemen of the North ; and when have ; 
the cries of suffering relatives been heard with effect ? Then, as 
the Catholics cannot obtain redress, even from a constitutional 
inquest, when conscientious and impartial judges have instructed j 
juries as to the bearing of evidence in support of the accusation j 
— when those who are entrusted with the powers of rulers, are j 
either incompetent or fearful to do their duty in protecting the j 
subjects, is it not reasonable for the Catholics to petition for ; 
permission to protect themselves 1 — by procuring arms, not to j 
declare war, but to preserve peace ; not to offend others, but to | 
prevent them from offending us ; to abolish the frequent eele- I 
bration of Turkish lents, the only lent known to the Orangemen, j 
when, like the Turks, they sally forth with loaded muskets , ! 
and as the miserable Greeks are massacred with Mussulman fe- 
rocity, to appease the spirit of Mahommedan bigotry, so the 
unprotected, armless Catholic falls the victim to the periodical 
fanaticism of the armed Orangemen. 

As the petition sought but the placing of Catholics on an 
equal footing of personal security with the Orangemen, there 
could be no substantial objection to the prayer for the dis- 
arming of Orangemen. 



Mb. O'Connell stated, that he had obtained from two Orange- 
men, documents which would explain what Sir A. B. King had, 



CATHOLIC ASSOCIATION, June 2, 1824 



John Lawless, Esq., Barrister- at- Law, in the Chair. 



ORANGEMEN. 




DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



very naturally, "wished to conceal from the House of Commons — ' 
the obligation of an Orangeman • which Sir Abraham's brethren 
in the House were also anxious to withhold from the world, con- i 
scious of the enormity of its provisions, and the execration they 
must inspire in the mind of every Christian. 

Mr. O'Connell said the documents were received from a 
source that would enable the Catholics to make such a case for | 
parliament as could not fail to be established. From one of the , 
two Orangemen who had supplied him with the information, he j i 
(Mr. O'C.) had received such corroborative proofs, as could leave 
no doubt of the authenticity of the statements in the documents 
he was about to submit to the meeting. That Orangeman 
had undertaken to prove the statement before the bar of the j i 
House of Commons, and, of course, the Association would not \ 
fail to make him a sufficient compensation for the risk and 
hazard of life he should run in thus coming forward. The prin- 
ciples of the system were to be found in the 68th Psalm • or, in 
the 67th and 68th of the Douay Bible, and the 24th verse ; — 

"That thy feet may be dipped in the blood of thine enemies; and that the j 
tongue of thy dogs may be red through the same." 

Mr. O'Connell then read the following dialogue : — 

ORANGE SYSTEM. 

The System is taken from the 68th Psalm. 
The Lecture is — 

H Q. From -whence came you ? — A. From the deep. 
M Q. "What deep ? — A. The deep of the sea. 

* Q. Whither go you ?— A. To the hill. 

" Q. What hill ?— A. Even an high hill as the hill of Basan. 

* Q. Who shall conduct you hither ? — A. The Lord, of whom cometh salva- 
tion. 

" Q. Have ycu a password? — A. I have. 

" Q. Will you give it to me? — A. I did not so obtain it myself; but I will 
divide it with a true brother, knowing him to be such. 
u Q. Begin ? — A. No ; do you begin. Re-mem-be r. 
a This is the entrance password, and is accompanied with three knocks. 
w The grand password is Sl-NAI. 

44 The sign is made by placing the forefinger of the right hand on the mouth. 

w The answer is by the other person placing his right hand upon his left breast. 

"The 67th psalm, according to the Hebrew version, being the 69th according 
to the Septuagint, and marked accordingly, 67 and 68 in the Douay transla- 
tion. 

tl Verse 23rd. — The Lord said I will turn them from Basan, I will turn them 
into the depth of the sea. 

'24th. — That thn feet may he dipped in the Hood of thy enemies; tliat the 
tongue of thy dogs vwy he red with the same" 



332 



SELECT SPEECHES OP 



Mr. (yConnell proceeded—The Orangeman at his entrance 
was lectured from the 68th Psalm. The 2nd verse of the same 
psalm, consisting of the following words, was also read to him: — 
" Like as the smoke vanisheth, so shalt thou drive them away : 
and like as wax melteth at the fire, so let the ungodly perish at 
the presence of God." 

An amusing incident had occurred to himself, with reference 
to these same signs and tokens. He had, that morning, in the 
hall of the Four Courts, made some of the signals to an Orange- 
man, an acquaintance of his, greatly to the latter's astonishment, 
and not a little to his confusion, for he blushed and got most 
exceedingly angry. 

The 24th verse, continued Mr. O'Connell, contains the san- 
guinary principle which induced the horrid murder of poor 
Grunly, on the 12th of July, 1822, in Armagh, and which has 
occasioned his sister to wander ever since through her neigh- 
bourhood a wretched maniac. When the poor, heart- sickened 
girl told that she had seen one of the persons who shot her 
j brother get some of his blood and mix it with water, and make his 
| dog drink it on the spot where the murder was committed, her 
I frightful tale was not believed. 

I The same hellish perversion of the sacred text had caused the 
! murders of Wm, Campbell, at Armagh, on the 12th of July, 
1823, and in the month of March last, that of Hugh Cassidy. 

It was true, persons were tried for these murders, but it was 
equally certain that not one was convicted. Their blood is still 
unavenged by the law. 

To be sure, the Orangemen and Orange newspapers will deny 
the authenticity and truth of those documents ; bat will they 
venture to deny what has been stated of their system being 
founded on the 68th Psalm ? Mr. O'Connell concluded, by 
giving notice of a motion for a petition to parliament on the 
subject of the Orange societies. 

THE LATE MURDERS IN FERMANAGH. 

On the recommendation of Mr. O'Connell, a committee wa<5 
appointed to employ an agent and counsel to proceed forthwith 
to Fermanagh, and collect evidence to be laid before Mr. Black 
burn. 

Without the active interference, protection, and advice oi 
some professional and respectable gentleman, the witness who 
possessed the most important information would either be inti- 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



333 



midated or unadvised, and it would be the object of the guilty ! 
party to prevent their access to Mr. Blackburn's court of inquiry. 
"Should those persons succeed in obstructing the communication, 
ihe object of the inquiry would be defeated, notwithstanding the 
industry and ability with which Mr. Blackburn would, no doubt, 
conduct it. 

As the appointment he had recommended would materially fa- 
cilitate and assist the government in the inquiry, he should move, 
that, in consequence of the urgency of the case, Mr. Blackburn 
being to leave town for Fermanagh to-morrow, (this day,) that 1 
a committee be appointed to employ Counsellor Kernan, and 
engage him to proceed immediately to attend the examination. 



SATURDAY, June 5. 

Mr. O'Connell said he wished to give notice of a motion as re- 
sulting from a late debate in parliament. 

Of what occurred in parliament, he said, they knew nothing; 
but the reports published in the newspapers they had a right 
to discuss. 

He thought it was no small proof how much the Catholic 
Association had exerted itself in the cause of religious liberty, 
when it had earned so fully the hostility of an avowed Orange- 
man, who was, of course, the sworn enemy of Catholic claims, 
and who, in the discharge of his sworn duty, assailed the Catho- 
lic Association. One would have thought the newspaper which 
had given so laboured a report of Mr. Brownlow'3 censure of 
the Catholic Association, would have despised the paltry pre- 
tence of regretting that the Association was injuring the cause 
of Catholic Emancipation. Why, if that were true, the columns 
of that paper would not have been occupied with Mr. Brown- 
low's philippic, for he would rather support the existence of an 
association, whose proceedings were calculated to retard the 
march of liberality, or the attainment of Catholic Emancipation. 

Mr. Brownlow was member for Armagh, where three murders 
of Catholics had been committed within the last eighteen 
months. Mr. Brownlow may not think it is the duty of the 
Association to put down the faction which delights in those 
scenes of massacre. 

In the complaints of the Catholic Association, as reported f m 



334 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



I the newspapers, it is stated, that all the atrocities in the country 
have been traced to the Catholic Association. It was deroga- 
tory to the character of the Catholics to condescend to refute 
so foul and indignant a calumny, and the falsehood of which 
; was known to every man conversant in the affairs of Ireland. 
I Was it not a notorious fact, the Catholic Association was 
formed when Ireland was in a state of agitation, little removed 
! from open rebellion 1 and was it not equally notorious that those 
I disturbances have ceased in proportion as the Association has 
r become loud and determined in seeking a redress of Catholic 
| grievances 1 — thereby demonstrating, that the charge is wholly 
I unfounded against the Association, and also establishing an im- 
I portant fact, that the peasantry are at all times ready to coalesce 
with the Catholic Association in their constitutional efforts for 
relief, as long as they are made with any prospects of success. 

It was scarcely worth his (Mr. O'C.'s) while noticing the 
allusions to himself in that report ; but, however, he should say 
that he was proud of two things connected with that circum- 
stance ; he was flattered, felt proud and delighted at the friend- 
ship professed for him by such characters as the Knight of 
Kerry and Mr. Hutchinson— gsstlemen of the first class — 
patriots, whose zeal for their country is only equalled by their 
proud independence, and while their talents render them formi- 
dable to the enemies of freedom, they are active and indefatiga- 
ble for the promotion of Ireland's prosperity. Their mention of 
him in the debate reported in the newspapers, had filled his 
heart with gratitude, and made him have a better opinion of 
himself. 

But he was considered to have deserved the censure of a Colo- 
nel Trench. From what he knew of that person, he should be 
| sorry that he had deserved his praise. The report states, that 
J the gallant colonel, by way of reproach, called him Lawyer 
O'Connell ; and if there be any turpitude in being a lawyer, he 
shared it with the gallant colonel himself, for he remembered 
him walking the hall of the Four Courts in his wig and gown, 
about the time that he (Mr. 0*C.) was called to the bar ; and 
the only difference between them was, that the colonel paced 
the hall and failed, while he (Mr. O'C.) walked it, and succeeded, 
and therefore had no occasion, Hudibras like, to have himself 
I transformed from a lawyer into a colonel. 

The worthy colonel had dubbed him Protector ; but although 
his ability to protect was not equal to that of the notorious Pro- 
tector^ yet the gallant colonel knew how he could assist, for 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P 33 6 ! 

the colonel's worthy brother-in-law, Sir Compton Domville, had j 
I experienced it in his contest with Colonel White for the county 
of Dublin ; and the colonel's brother at Swords had also most ; 
likely informed him of his ability to protect, as he had felt it j 
in the election alluded to, or perhaps in some of his late profes- 
sional exertions. 

Something was said about the colonel having been favourable j 
to the Catholics in 1812, when he was then young from college, 
and his bosom filled with youthful ardour and generosity. The i 
colonel young in 1812 ! Well be it so ! — and oh, how the avowal 1 
delighted him (Mr. O'C). Why that avowal in itself savoured I 
of the generous disinterested uncalculating liberality of youth, i 
when the impulse of ardent honesty, predominates over self-in- 
terest j and truth and justice are the motives which influence 
action. But he (Mr. O'C.) remembered that in the year 1812, 
there was a certain man living called Napoleon, and many per- 
sons who then thought it prudent to profess sentiments of liber- 
ality, had since forgotten their early generosity, and demonstrated 
the policy of the British Cabinet towards Ireland, that so long , 
as England was in danger, or threatened by her enemies, it was ! 
necessary to make a show of liberality and good feeling to- 
wards Ireland. But when the danger ceased, oppression was j 
resumed. 

There was one circumstance arising from the debate, as re- 
ported, that he (Mr. O'C.) felt truly proud of — the perfect de- \ 

MOXSTRATION OF THE LEGALITY OF THE CATHOLIC ASSOCIATION. j 

He felt proud, he said, not from any feeling of triumph, but 
because he was conscious that the Catholic Association would j 
not proceed one instant, if their proceedings were not legal. The I 
Catholics do not speech of law, they practise it, not from apprc- I j 
hension, but from respect. The Catholics truly respect the laws, 
and he hoped they should yet assist in amending them. 

The learned gentleman then gave notice of a motion respect- 
ing the report of the debate on the Catholic Association. 

At the very. moment (Dec, 1846) that we are recording this justifiable boast of M» 
O'Connell's, he has just been compelled to call public attention to the fact that every asso 
ciation established by him stood the test of the law, although the latter was applied b? j 
unscrupulous and persecuting lawyers, judges, and jurors. 



336 



SELECT SPEECHES OS 



LORD BEDESDALE. 

Mr. 0*Connell proceeded to move upon his notice respecting 
a report which had appeared in the Times London newspaper, 
stating, that Lord Redesdale had mentioned, during a debate in 
the House of Lords, that he had been once threatened with assas- 
sination in Dublin, the merit of commiting such an act having 
been strongly recommended and urged from the altar of one of 
the Catholic chapels in Dublin. 

In the first place, said the learned gentleman, it was impossible 
that the Times, when it gave insertion to the report, could have 
credited such a ludicrous absurdity, and in the next place, Lord 
Redesdale very well knew that a conspiracy to murder is a capital 
offence in Ireland ; and if the Lord Chancellor had received in- 
formation that it was intended to assassinate him, and that it 
had been recommended from the altar, it would have been a 
breach of his sworn duty not to have brought the delinquents to 
justice ; which, there is no doubt, would not have been slow in 
punishing so foul a crime, where a Lord Chancellor was the ob- 
ject. 

1 1 Now he (Mr. O'C.) recollected that the day before Lord Redes- 
dale left Ireland, he made a speech from the bench, in which he 
j fctrongly expressed his regret at being obliged to leave Ireland, 
and declared that he was exceedingly ill used in being removed 
| from this country, upon whose people he then passed an eulogium. 
He attributed his recal to Mr. Ponsonby, although it was 
really owing to the very extraordinary correspondence that was 
published at the time, between his Lordship and Lord Fingall, 
I and the Chancellor sent the Commission of the Peace to the 
Earl of Fingall. But although he. acknowledged that it was in 
consideration of Lord Fingall's great exertions to quell the rebel- 
sion he sent him the commission, yet he seemed to infer that, 
being a Catholic, he must therefore be disloyal. Lord Fingall, 
j who would have consulted his own dignity much more by refusing 
| the commission, accepted of it, and wrote to Lord Redesclale, uncler- 
; taking to prove that although he was a Catholic he might be 
loyal. This produced a reply from Lord Redesdale, and a con- 
| croversy ensued, which, upon the publication of it, displayed so 
I much political absurdity as occasioned his removal, for which he 
(Mr. O'C.) was truly sorry, for there never was a more learned, 
able, and impartial judge. 
I In his anxiety for justice he discovered and proclaimed, in an 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.a # 



337 



emphatic sentence, u that in Ireland there was one law for the 
rich and another for the poor but in his court, he (Mr. 0,C.) 
could declare, that every man without distinction of creed or 
politics, had justice done him as far as it was possible. 

When he (Mr. O'C.) spoke thus of a man who was decidedly 
©pposed to Catholics, who was exerting himself to keep from 
him (Mr. O'C.) his natural rights, his testimony had some value, J 
when he allowed him all the merits and virtues of a great and 
good judge, but declared him an incompetent and sorry poli- 
tician. 

In the petition they would call upon their lordships to visit 
with punishment the author of so unfounded a charge against 
the Catholic priesthood of Ireland, of whom there is not one 
existing that the shadow of a suspicion of such a crime could 
be cast upon. 

The Catholic priesthood are distinguished for opposite quali- 
ties — disinterested, laborious, and poor ; they preach and de- 
monstrate, by the strictest practice, that most essential ingre- 
dient of religion — morality, without which they say that nG 
enthusiasm or fanaticism can (like as it is taught in some sects 
of the day) procure salvation by mere belief in one thing. No 
belief or faith in Christ will, they say, avail, without the ac- 
companiment of good works and the practice of the Christian 
virtues. The motto of the Catholic priesthood is, "believe 
and do" 

Those who contend that the Catholics are unworthy of eman- j 
cipation, have had at times the indecency to argue that it was 
a principle with the Catholics, " no matter what evil you do, 
if it is for the good of the church." Now he (Mr. O'C.) was 
uncertain whether the Catholics had more occasion to rejoice ! 
at such monstrous calumnies, as they proved to what extremi- ! 
ties their opponents were reduced, when attempting to contend 
against the principles of natural right ; or whether it was mat- 
ter of deep regret, that in the nineteenth century, men of edu- 
cation should be found in a British assembly, whose prejudices; 
or whose want of information could have occasioned such a 
groundless imputation against the Catholics, whose religion 
taught them, in the words of St. Austin, " that to attain heaven 
itself, the smallest lie was not permitted. 

Yet those are the people who are objects of such atrocious 
calumny ! 

One of the greatest services of the Catholic Association was 
their taking measure to contradict every falsehood propagated 

VOL. II. y 



333 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



to the prejudice of their claim and their religion. The Asso- 1 
ciation would not have given the Orangemen any concern, sup- j 
posing they were debating high treason, but that they perceive ' 
it will be impossible to delude the English people much longer, 
while the Association exists. That it must exist unless there be 
a new law made to put it down, cannot be doubted ; and if they 
proceed to that extremity, why then they must also put down 
the Association for distributing bibles without note or comment, 
and the Associations for petitioning against Negro Slavery. 
There cannot even be a love feast, without being reached by the I 
act, and it will extend even to meetings of dowager ladies for j 
tea and tracts ! 

It was a considerable recommendation of the Catholic Asso- ; 
ciation, that, self-constituted as it was of necessity, its beings j 
on the watch against Catholic defamers and libellers of Irish- I 
men was found to be an annoyance and prevention of calumny. ! 

The petition, which was now preparing by a gentleman to j 
whose pen the Association were already considerably indebted [ 
(Mr. Brie), would say, we don't pretend to inquire into your j 
privileges or observe upon your proceedings, but we complain of j 
a silly and ridiculous calumny which has been cast upon the Ca- I 
tholics. We challenge inquiry — we demand investigation — you | 
have the power of examining upon oath and of bringing before 
you witnesses. Let the inquiry be followed up by punishment. 
There is no statute of limitation against a capital offence. 

Mr, O'Connell, in conclusion, observed that Lord Redesdale 
having thus spoken of the Catholic clergy or people, was the 
more incredible after he had written a letter which should be 
read. 

Here a letter was read from his lordship to a Catholic clergyman, acknowledging some 
restitution-money transmitted from a penitent of the clergyman's. The letter was very 
courteous in tone ana matter. 

Mr. O'Connell having been called to court shortly after he gave in his resolution, a con- 
Biderable discussion arose as to the terms of it ; and Mr. Sheil opposed the mention of the 
Times newspaper, as it would convey a reflection on that paper. But the objection was 
overruled, and after some time had elapsed, Mr. O'Connell returned to the meeting, to re- 
deem a notice given the preceding week, for the appointment of two assistant -secretaries, 
according to the rules of the Association, in order to assist the secretary to the Catholics 
of Ireland. 

Mr. Conway was appointed one of the new officers, and Mr. 'O'Connell took occasion to- 
compliment him upon his services and devotion to their cause. There was nothing to be 
mode by Protestants in becoming their advocate: while money and preferment to be had 
by opposing them. 

A committee was now appointed to prepare a petition, as directed by Mr. O'ConneTs 
resolution. , 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



WEDNESDAY, June 9, 1824. 
EXTRAORDINARY MEETING OF THE CATHOLIC ASSOCIATION. 

PURSUANT TO PUBLIC NOTICE ON REQUISITION. 

Counsellor Corley took the Chair. Mr. Conway acted as Secretary 
ORANGE SIGNS. 

Mr. O'Connell stated that in consequence of the expose of the 

Orange system, as given by him a few days since, the Orange- | 
i men had found it necessary to change their sign of recognition, ■ 
; and have adopted what they term a distress sign, which is made 
• by holding the left hand a little distance from the face, the 
j back outwards, and knocking it quickly three times against the 

palm of the right hand. 

When they change their present sign of recognition, he 

(Mr. O'C.) would be able to inform the Association of it. — 

(Great laughter and applause.) 

A letter was then read from Lord Donoughmore, expressing his readiness to communi- 
cate with the Catholic hody, under the designation of the " Catholic Association, ' or any- 
other name they should assume, and thanking them for allowing him to transfer their 
petition to the Marquis of Lansdowne, his health preventing Jiis going to London to pre- 
sent it in person. 

THE LATE FERMANAGH RIOTS. 

Mr. O'Connell presented the report from Mr. Cavanagh, who 
was the attorney that had been appointed to attend Counsellor 
Kernan, at the wish of the Association, in his labours for pro- 
curing and arranging evidence for the inquiry before Mr. Black- 
bur ne. 

After some other observations, Mr. O'Connell said, that there 
was no man who more readily sacrificed his own interests, by a 
candid and unreserved disapproval of the measures of govern- 
ment when they merited censure ; but it gave him greater plea- 
sure, whenever he was enabled to announce any proceeding of 
public utility emanating from the government ; and certainly 
no act of any administration had gran such complete satisfac- 
tion, or tended so much to establish public confidence, and 
create respect for the laws, in the minds of the Irish people, 
particularly the peasantry, as that of Marquis Wellesley send- 
ing down Mr. Blackburne to conduct the Fermanagh inquiry. 

That gentleman's conduct was most satisfactory to the public, 



SELECT SPEECHES OP 



serviceable to the government, and creditable to himself; and 
he* (Mr. O'C.) hoped, from the information which would be fur- 
nished by the learned gentleman, the Marquis Wellesley would 
be induced not to confine the inquiry to the 16th May, but to 
obtain correct and official information respecting the other daily 
outrages committed by Orangemen in the North of Ireland. 

He would now give notice that he would, upon the next day 
of meeting, move for a committee to prepare an address to his 
Excellency the Lord Lieutenant, prayiug him to extend the in 
quiry which had been instituted as to the circumstances of the 
Fermanagh outrage, into the occurrences of other days, in addi- 
tion to those of the 16th of May. 



CATHOLIC ASSOCIATION, Saturday, June 11. 

RIBBONMEN. 

Mr. O'Connell gave notice of a motion for appointing a com- > 
mittee to prepare an address to the people upon the subject of ; 
Kibbonism. 

He (Mr. O'C.) was not at all afraid of the Catholic Association 
being put down by Parliament, nor by Orangemen ; nor was he ; 
in the least apprehensive or displeased at the puny efforts of I 
the Orange press, under the direction of its ludicrous and de- | 
I graded managers. Its imbecile attempts at satire, or wit, only 
I occasioned a feeling of pity and contempt. When it attempted 
j to be serious, it only dished up a meal of deliberate calumnious j 
falsehoods. 

He was not apprehensive that any act of Parliament could be 
made to reach them ; but, if there should, the Catholic Associa- j 
tion will acquiesce in it ; for though the Catholics would ame- 
liorate the laws, they have no disposition to break, but to obey ; 
them. But should government proceed that length, they must 
abolish the right of petitioning altogether. If they prohibit the I 
Association from meeting at stated periods for the purpose of 
preparing petitions, they can regulate their proceedings accord- 
ingly ; and unless they strip the people at once of the right of 
petitioning, they could not prevent the Catholics holding aggre- 
i gate meetings every fortnight in chapels ; and they will hardly 
proceed to such a monstrous violation of the constitution as tc 
prevent people assembling in and out of a house for the purpose 
$f seeking legislative redress. 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, I SQ., M.P. 341 

I 

But the best security against such a measure is its application 
to that darling of ministers, " The Constitutional Association." 
The Catholi-c Association, therefore, had not to dread either 
force, violence, or law. 

But there was a description of persons more dangerous to the j 
existence -of the Association than any he had mentioned. He j i 
had good reason to know that there are several persons, in the i f 
pay of the police, now actively employed, and that some of j 
these miscreants — who, with a horrid depravity, do not hesitate 
to abuse the most holy sacrament by partaking of it with the 
intention of making it a means the more effectually to betray 
— are working with a deep and malignant villany to prevail 
upon the wretched peasantry to continue and revive the system 
of Ribbonism. 

They say to the peasantry, government is not anxious to put 
you down, and they entice the deluded people into a belief that j 
such is the feeling of government, from their having refused j 
j Counsellor Bennett's proposal made from the people, to send in I 
i their arms, and take the oath of allegiance, upon receiving a 
j general pardon. This circumstance gives colour to their argu- 
j rnont, and they succeed in imposing upon the credulous and dis- 
; contented, because miserable, peasant. 

To give strength and persuasion to their seductive argument 
respecting the government, they say that the Catholic Associa- j 
, tion gives its countenance to that species of delinquency — 
Ribbonism j and that it is secretly favourable to it ; and thus j 
does the unfeeling policy of the government ever leave the ! 
Irish peasant the victim of blood-money miscreants, who, by 
the basest trea-chery, and most monstrous perjury, succeed in j 
obtaining a comfortable provision for themselves, whilst they 
spread desolation, havoc, disgrace, and death, amongst a gene- 
rous, brave, and warm-hearted people. 

Mr. Mullen said there were two of Biose characters then in the room. 

Mr. O'Connell, in continuation, said, the address should call 
upon the people, in the name of God and their country, to re- ' 
sist those seductions — to avoid the contamination of those fiends, 
who seek to plunge the country in the horrors of insurrection, 
and who, no doubt, were now to set to work to overthrow the 
Catholic Association, which nothing could do but the taint of 
Ribbonism, creeping in amongst the collectors of the Catholie 
rent ; for the Association must, in some measure, share the 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



reproach of the principles and designs of snch Ribbonrnen as 
, might mingle amongst the collectors. 

There was no security against the oath of the approver — he 
might represent the Ribbonman's oath and designs in tho 
blackest and most dangerous colours — although there is not 
one member of the Catholic Association that would not turn 
out in arms against the perpetration of such deeds (hear, hear), 
and, therefore, the address should assure the peasantry of the 
Association's decided disapprobation and abhorrence of the 
principles of. Ribbonism, and that there are no greater enemies 
to Ireland than those who enter into such a system — a system 
which must deprive the people of that constitutional redress 
which they can have no doubt of obtaining through the exer- . 
tions of the Catholic Association, if not brought into disrepute 
by those illegal combinations. 



DOCTOR DOYLE. . 

Mr. O'Connell, pursuant to his notice, moved a resolution 
thanking Doctor Doyle for his letter upon the union of churches. 

He (Mr. O'C.) had, he said, peculiar pleasure in moving the 
motion, when so many circumstances concurred to ensure its [ 
passing with unanimity, for if any doubt had heretofore existed j 
as to the necessity of the motion, after Doctor Doyle's excellent | 
letter of last night, such doubt must cease. 

The public, continued Mr. O'Connell, are very properly and 
wisely precluded from observing npon the proceedings of Par- 
liament, with which they are not supposed to be acquainted, and 
his (Mr. O'C.'s) observations would, therefore, only apply to what 
appeared in a newspaper, and not to what had occurred in the 
House of Lords. i 

One of the London newspapers contained an unmerited and 
unfounded reflection upon the character of that revered, learned, 
and excellent prelate, Doctor Doyle, to which was attached the 
title of a person who never signalized himself as a legislator, 
but as the pompous opposer of Catholic claims, and who, it is 
stated in the newspaper, had thought proper to style the writer j 
of the admired letter upon the union of the churches, " sedi- J 
tiously impertinent." j 

Could any proposition be more amusing, than that of com- 



DANIEL o'dONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



343 



paring such a man in the same order of nature with Doctor 
Doyle 1 — a prelate whose exertions in the moral world, whose 
great and general utility to society, and whose powerful and com- 
manding intellect, are, by his more candid opponents, allowed 1 
to be of the first order — a prelate disinterested, unpensioned, and 
uninfluenced by ambition or intrigue, who devotes his energies, 
talents, and life, to promote the happiness and union of man- 
kind. 

Powerless, indeed, must such taunts be when applied to Doctor 
Doyle, for, who is there forgets that pious and zealous prelate's 
pastoral address, written with the affection of a parent, and the 
talent of a philosopher ; that address, which extracted approba- 
tion even from those determined to hate the writer, and which 
was found to speak with such persuasive eloquence and sincerity 
of intention, which appealed so successfully, through the force 
of feeling and truth, to the reason, prejudices, and passions of 
the peasantry, that the Government thought it wise to distribute 
300,000 copies, which did more to induce patience and tran- 
quillity amongst the people, than twenty Insurrection Acts. 

That address had been issued at a time when distraction and 
despair seemed to have made the land their own — when riot, 
outrage, and bloodshed were spreading upon every side, and when 
no one could tell, few ventured even to think, to what pitch the 
disturbances would have ultimately gone. The effect of it was 
magical upon the unhappy and half- maddened people. A change 
ensued such as no one had dared to hope for ; and it appeared 

: at once that the spring of insurrection was stemmed even at its 

| source. 

i And why did Doctor Doyle write that address 1 Was it to i 
get place, or title, or pension ? They had no value for such a j 

\ man. No ! he offered it as a gem of unbought loyalty from a 
Christian prelate, whose only reward was in seeing his country- 
men good subjects and good Christians. 

He (Mr. O'C.) was particularly induced to propose the vote 
of thanks to Doctor Doyle, as a publication from a most respec- 
table quarter had been sent forth to the public (the Declarations 
of the Professors of the Royal College of St. Patrick, Maynooth, 
published in the Freeman's Journal of the 3rd instant). 

Here Mr. O'C. highly eulogised, collectively and individually, 
the several professors who signed the declaration, and assured 
the meeting he would not have the hardihood to set up his opi 
nion against an association of such learning, talent, and piety 

; ri£ the professors of Maynooth ; but he would respectfully enter 



SELECT SPEECHES OP 

his protest against the political principles announced in the 
publication alluded to, and he could not allow that the professors 
of Maynooth, or the Catholics generally, had any great cause for 
gratitude, although bound to the government by their allegiance 
but surely it was not for a reduced grant of money, or a sum 
so paltry, when compared with the sum allowed to the Kildare- 
street Association, in support of a disguised system of prosely- 
tism, a miserable pittance for the education of a priesthood, to 
whom the religion and morals of seven millions of persons are 
entrusted, not one-fifth of the allowance for charter schools, and 
trifling, indeed, when compared to the enormous sum allotted to 
the support of an establishment whose daties are scarcely more 
than nominal in Ireland. 

So far from being spoken of as a subject of gratitude, it ought 
to be made a subject of parliamentary interference, and, by next 
sessions, he hoped to have the measure brought before parlia- 
ment, demonstrating the impolicy of the present illiberal, un- 
generous, and pitiful proceedings towards the College of May- 
nooth, and showing how the government may not only obtaia 
the gratitude of the college, but the affections of the people. 

The point upon which he (Mr. O'C.) differed materially from 
the learned and reverend personages, was their unhappy quota- 
tion from a profane writer, Terfcullian. As to their attachment 
to the king, he most cordially and heartily agreed with them, 
and joined in their wishes for the prolongation of his Majesty's 
health most sincerely and heartily ; as to the bravery of the 
army, that need not be prayed for, for there was not so brave 
an army in the world. But for a devoted senate, that prayer 
might have been an appropriate one under a Eoman despot, but 
he hoped never to see such a senate established under the sanc- 
tion of the British constitution, which intended it as a check to 
the power of the executive — a sentinel to guard the people's rights, 
and not an instrument of power to destroy the country's freedom. 

He could not think why the professors thought it necessary 
to introduce that quotation, as if the Catholic clergy would re- 
sist an act of justice so necessaiy as a reform in parliament. 
Nay, he would go further, and notwithstanding that he fully 
and unconditionally submitted to the authority of the Church, 
| in matters of faith, yet as parliamentary reform was a political 
affair, and supposing the clergy declared against it, he would 
not surrender his opinion, nor his determination as to the neces- 
sity of reform, and which in conscience he believed the parlia- 
ment required. 



344 



DANIEL o'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 315 

The declaration alluded to from the professors was supposed 
I by many to be an attack upon the political opinions of Doctor 
! | Doyle, and that he would exercise his powerful talents in reprov- 
\ ing such weakness. Doctor Doyle had been frequently com- 
! pared to Fenelon, and by his forbearance, charity, and self-con- 
; trol manifested in his letter of Friday, finished the character, 
and made the sketch complete — an eloquent and powerfully 
persuasive writer, an exemplary moralist and divine, devoid oi 
personal pride, and setting an example of that suavity and 
meekness which should ever distinguish a Christian minister. 

But Doctor Doyle would not be loyal, without telling the 
government whether they possessed the people's allegiance from 
duty or from affection. 

Although the Catholics would adhere to the throne, yet it is 
wise to let the government know, that if, in the hour of Eng- 
land's danger, she would rely upon Ireland's devotion, she must 
cease to be governed by the faction that now divides her — that 
if England expects filial attachment from Ireland, she must ex- 
tend to her parental protection ; this has Doctor Doyle done 
zealously, but temperately — and although he has spoken can- 
didly, he has not spoken unconstitutionally — and as a divine^ 
his piety, toleration, learning, and talent, entitled him to the 
thanks of every Christian, and required from the Catholics a 
distinctive mark of their reverence, admiration, and affection. 

Mr. O'Connell concluded by moving the following resolu- 
tion : — 

" That the Chairman be requested to transmit to the Right 
Rev. Doctor Doyle the respectful expression of the gratitude 
and reverence of the Catholic Association, for the zeal, talent, 
loyalty, and piety, which have ever marked his exertions in the 
cause of Ireland." 

A conversation ensued about forged and anonymous letters, which had been received, 
purporting to narrate cases of grievances, occurring to, or inflicted upon Catholics, iL 
rarious districts of the North of Ireland. 
Mr. O'Connell recommended that no notice or trouble whatever snou.d be taken with 
| any of them. He himself would be almost ruined in postage charges, by anonymous let- 
| ters, if the authorities at the post-office had not been so considerate as to take them off 
his hands. These letters conveyed plenty of abuse and threats of all kinds. Indeed he 
had recently received no less than twelve letters, intimatiug to him, that he might soon 
expect the favour of having his throat cut by the Orangemen (laughter). 
A voice from behind Mr. 0*Connell exclaimed : M And they are the only people who 
I would take your part." 

Mr. O'Councll — " Heaven protect me from them at any rate. I wou.d be sorry to try 
them!" (Laughter.) 

The cffaii which occurred at the next meeting was one of those sma*^ but often very 



U6 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



v-eazing annoyances with which Mr. O'Connell's path was at different times beset, during 
the progress of his agitations. A spirit of small economy, commendable, 'no doubi iri 
itself, where proceeding from an honest and sincere intention, hut often very much calcu- 
lated to impede and cripple important political moves, manifested itself from time to time 
among the lesser members of committee, in respect to the management of —to use the 
stereotyped phrase on those occasions — "the people's money." In a popular body, espe 
daily in Ireland, where the public mind has not bv any means even yet shaken off the 
tendency to suspiciousness, division and distrust, engendered by the evil experience 01 
long centuries of misrule, the man who cannot otherwise get himself into temporary 
notoriety, often finds his account- in raising objections, starting plausible cavils, hinting 
insinuations, and assuming a censorlike tone, particularly in questions about money, 
and of this latter description was the instance with which we have at present to deah 

In this case the economy advocated by the objecting party, might have been attended 
with peculiarly injurious effects to the Catholic Association, had its advocate been suc- 
cessful. The proposition objected to was, the giving a salary of £160 per annum to the 
late respected Edward Dwyer— the secretary to the Catholic Association 

Mr. Dwyer whose eminent services and extraordinary efficiency for the office.' he so 
long and worthily filled, need no words of ours to praise or establish, had been largely 
engaged in mercantile transactions; and although a heavy sufferer by some of those un- 
avoidable casualties that will happen to the most prudent and prosperous merchant, was 
yet in such occupation that it was necessary to offer him a salary high for the then state 
of the funds of the body, however disproportionate to his merits, and to assure irim of r. 
six months' notice of discontinuance. 

Mr. O'Connell, who must be allowed to have shown, through life, a singular quicknesi 

finding out the exact man wanted for any special purpose of the agitation, had fixed hia 
eye at once upon Edward Dwyer ; and ev2nts proved how well and rightly the choice hal I 
been made. 



SATURDAY, June 18. 

Counsellor Coppinger in the Chair. 

A member called the attention of the Association to a serious infraction of their rules 

The Finance Committee had appointed an assistant -secretary at a salary of £160 per 
annum, with assurance of six months certain employment. This appointment he (Mr, 
Kirwan) complained of, because the business of the Association did not require the assis- 
tance of any additional person. 

He thought the Finance Committee had not authority to vote away the Association's 
money, without their consent, and he thought it discreditable to the Association to give 
cause for a suspicion of a wilful waste of the public money, while the Association was so 
largely indebted. 

Mr. O'Connell said, that if the gentleman had not been so ear^ in the field, he woul . 
have heard him (Mr. O'Connell) give notice of a motion on this very subject ; and he would 
have learned that the Finance Committee had not, nor did they intend it, infringed upon 
tho rule3 of the Association. 

The member repeated his remarks on the subject, and gave notice of a motion for having 
all the minutes and proceedings of the Committee laid before the Associate in. 



Mr. O'Connell said, that it had always been the misfortune 
of the Catholic body, that there were persons ever found who ex.- 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



347 



rrcised a species of ingenuity in throwing unnecessary obstacles 
in their progress. He did not mean that the last speaker was one 
of those, but his present opposition to the intended appointment ! | 
would, if successful, prove a serious interruption to the collec- ; 
tion of the Catholic rent. — That fund would be composed of an ! 
aggregate of very small sums, and requiring numerous and well | 
kept accounts, explanatory and explicit to the public and sub- 
scribers. The nature of the Catholic Rent naturally begot a \ 
multiplication of correspondence which required to be managed 
with skill, honesty, and ability, and there was not to be found 
one who possessed those qualities in a greater degree than Mr. 
Dwyer. 

The Finance Committee, from their knowledge of his intelli- 
gence, general information, and numerous qualifications, w T ere 
eager to engage him at once, and ensure him his salary for aix 
months, for which they undertook to be personally responsible, 
should not the Association confirm the appointment. The ne- 
gociation occurred before there could be an opportunity of sub- 
mitting it to the Association, as every resolution having for its i 
object the appropriation of money required a fortnight's notice, ! 
and it was necessary to secure Mr. Dwyer in the meantime. 
From the accumulation of business, and increase of correspon- 
dence occasioned by the Catholic rent, it required a person of 
Mr. Dwyer's skill in accounts, and ability, to conduct this cor- 
respondence. He felt confident that the Catholic rent would 
emancipate the Catholics, but its collection required to be man- 
aged with ability, in order to ensure that success ; and suppos- 
ing he devoted the entire of his own time, it would not be suffi- 
cient for the correspondence which it was intended Mr. Dwyer 
should undertake. 

He should, therefore, give notice of a motion for the appoint- ! 
ment of Mr. Edward Dwyer, as assistant-secretary for twelve 
months, at a salary of £160. 

In reply to Mr. Kirwan, respecting debts alleged to be due 
by the Association, he said, there would be but very few of 
them ; and whatever there were, they should be speedily dis- 
charged 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



EDUCATION m IRELAND. 

j 

I Mr. O'Connell rose to give notice of a motion for an address to 
| the crown, praying an enlargement of the members who com- 
| j30se the commission for inquiring into the state of education in 
! Ireland. 

j There was, (Mr. O'C, said) a Mr. Grant appointed on the 
commission, but who that gentleman was he could not tell. 

Mb. Coxwat— He is a Scotch gentleman of great liberality. 

Via. O'Connell said, Mr. Grant being a stranger, could know nothing of the country, 
whose domestic economy or local habits he was about to inquire into. 

Mr. Conway — His being a stranger was considered a strong recommendation. 

Another gentleman was also named, Mr. Glassford, of whom the public or the Irish 
people knew nothing. 

Mr. O'Connell, in continuation, observed, they were two of 
the commissioners who had yet to establish confidence by some- 
thing to be done hereafter. There was then Mr. Blake, another 
| of the commissioners. Here it should be recollected that the 
duties of Mr. Blake's office were most laborious, and extremely 
troublesome ; the same required four Masters in Chancery. 
Although Mr. Blake, by great application, contrived to get 
through, and succeeded in giving universal satisfaction — for 
besides acquitting himself with ability, he was always to be 
found in his office ; yet unless he determines to relax in that 
attention to his official duties, he cannot effectually fulfil his 
appointment of commissioner to inquire into the subject of 
education. 

The appointment, therefore, of Mr. Blake, (said Mr. O'C.) is 
a mere delusion, in order to make a show of great liberality ; 
and whenever, in future, they may require to make such an ap- 
pearance, they have only to put in the name of Catholic Chief 
Remembrancer, which will give a currency and a sanctioa to 
those of a host of Orangemen or exclusionists. 

As they had Mr. Blake in harness, they merely wanted to 
take a ride out of him* 

Me. Conway.— Mr. Blake won't suffer himself to be ridden, you may be sure 

Mr. O'Connell, in continuation, then adverted to the name 
of Mr. John Leslie Foster. The great and serious disadvantage, 
said Mr. O'C.) of having strangers upon this commission is, 
that they will oaturally be influenced by the deservedly high 
character which Mr. Foster bears as counsel for the revenue. 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P 



349 



They will readily confide in him, because, in the discharge of 
his duty as a public officer, no man can acquit himself more 
honestly to the revenue, nor more feelingly, judiciously, and , 
! honourably to individuals ; and the manner in which he gave 
his evidence before the committee, with respect to the monstrous 
: system of sub-commissioners sitting in judgment, where they are 
alternately witnesses and judges for each other, evinced such a 
spirit of independent candour, and determined honesty, that his 
! name is well calculated to inspire strangers with confidence in 
I whatever he may suggest respecting the people of Ireland. 

But it should be recollected, that Mr. Foster is the professed 
and unyielding opponent of the rights of six millions of his 
countrymen \ that he has grown up in and imbibed the most 
determined prejudices against them; that he owes his seat in 
Parliament to his hostility to Catholic claims, (and he should 
here say, the circumstance is most discreditable to the numerous 
Catholics of the county Louth,) and above all — they should re- 
collect that Mr. Foster is one of the most active and ardent pro- 
moters of the Kildare-street Society ; so that really Parliament 
might as well authorise government to pay the commissioners 
their salaries, and adopt the last report from the Kildare-street i 
. Society as that of the commissioners. 

On the first onset, there is a shield of protection, and a cloak 
j of concealment thrown around the very institution, whose system 
. the people were most anxious should be inquired into ; an insti- 
| tution that deprives the country of the advantages which the L 
I liberality of Parliament had intended for her \ which diverts the 
public money to the purposes of proselytism instead of education ; 
whose sole object is to deprive the Catholic clergy of the confi- 
dence, attachment, and respect of their communion, and to encou- 
rage the multitude to become expounders of the Scriptures ; and, i 
by filling their minds with doubts and difficulties, qualify them 
1 to found some new religion, which, no matter what species, must 
\ be preferable to that of the Catholic ; and whilst the first ob- 
! iect of education should be to teach truth, sincerity, and bene- 
! volence ; fraud and hvpocrisy appear the only practical lessons 
• €>f the Kildare-street Society. 

Many persons thought he (Mr. O'C.) shotild have been on that 
commission ; but they forgot, he was the projector of the Cat ho- 
j lie rent, and there was also a salary to the appointment ; but 
he cared little for the omission ; and neither wanted, nor would 
he receive any of their wages. But there were other Catholic 



j 350 SELECT SPEECHES OF 

I 

I names that ought of rigssu to be upon it, whether he were thero 
or not. 

Mr. O'Connell then ga\\3 notice of a motion for the appoint- 
| ment of a committee to prepare an address to the crown, praying 
I for the enlargement of the commission. He observed there 
j could be no difficulty in procuring a peer to present the address ; 
j which there ought to be no delay in preparing ; and in sending 
forward : so that proper representatives of Catholic feeling might 
attend the inquiries from their commencement. 

IRISH CATHOLIC MISSIONS THROUGH ENGLAND. 

The learned gentleman next addressed the meeting on this sub- 
ject, saying, that he supposed that every one present had read 
Cobbett's letter to Lord Eoden, and he sincerely pitied those 
who had not. That letter gives a masterly exposure of the pre- 
sent system of calumnious fraud practising upon the people of 
England, by the grossest and most absurd libels upon the Catho- 
lic clergy and their religion. In truth the darkest recesses of 
the most depraved, malignant, and infuriated minds, seem to 
have been sedulously ransacked in order to supply a sufficient 
Etore of filth and abominable falsehood for the gang of itinerant 
I defamers, who are now employed in traversing England, to raise 
subscriptions for educating those whom they style the benighted, 
( deluded, and uncivilised Irish. At one of those meetings held 
in the town of Birmingham on the 7th instant, under the pre- 
i sxdency of the Earl of Roden— notwithstanding the voluminous, 
explicit, and satisfactory documents which the Irish newspapers 
have published in contradiction to the calumny respecting the 
instruction of the Irish peasantry— one reverend speaker at 
| this meeting, in order to show the necessity for exertions of the 
j meeting, made the monstrous statement recorded of him, in the 
j following extract from the Birmingham Chronicle : — 

|5 44 At the last meeting of the Warwickshire Auxiliary Bible Society, the son 
j of an Irish nobleman observed that many friends of religion were anxious to 
; know what was the description of tooks admitted into the Irish Catholic Schools ; 
lae could inform them, that they principally consisted of histories of immoral 
characters, lives of robbers, and of men and women of the most infamous 
description. Thus childreft were made familiar with vice even from infancy," 

And, in conclusion, the rev. gentleman observed — 

i * That at missionary meetings, where much was said respecting the wants of 
\ the heathen afar off— it was not unusual for persons to reply, why should so 
j "*M»ch be done for them, when so much is wanted to be done at home? 



DANIEL o'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



1 

351 ! 



" Does not Ireland need our assistance as much as the Hindoos ? — Docs not j 

Ireland want christianizing as much as other nations ? Such persons had now | 

an opportunity, and he trusted they would not neglect that opportunity, of j 
coming forward in the cause of those poor Irish." ■ 

After several other rev. speakers had proceeded in such a 
Strain, as if their only purpose was who should succeed best in 
most foully libelling the Irish Catholics and clergy, an English 
Catholic clergymen attempted to address the meeting ; but after 
making way for him to the head of the room, w r hen it was known 
who he was, with that spirit of Christian candour which would 
have been expected from such a meeting, Lord Eoden informed 
him that no person would be allowed to speak but those whom 
the committee had appointed. (Hear.) 

The indelicacy and injustice of such a proceeding disgusted ; 
several persons present, and amongst others a Protestant Dis- \ 
senter, who attended the meeting for the purpose of subscribing, ; 
but immediately quitted it with many others, when the Catholic 
clergyman bowed to the decision of Lord Eoden, and retired. 

The Protestant Dissenter, the following day, addressed a letter 
to Lord Eoden, through the Birmingham Chronicle, in which he 
expresses his hostility to the Catholic religion ; but, with the 
liberality of a genuine Christian and the talent of an accom- i 
plished writer, he demonstrates the despotic, uncandid, and 
illiberal conduct of the meeting. (The learned gentleman here 
read some of the most striking passages of the letter.) " It was 
well to learn tactics from the enemy and he (Mr. O'Connell) 
could see no reason why the Catholics should not set on foot a 
tour of a different description to that of Lord Eoden and hi3 j 
friends ; for as they go about levying contributions on the Eng- J 
lish people for the alleged purpose of educating the Irish, and 
avail themselves of that opportunity to calumniate the Irish 
priesthood and their religion, but will not permit them to be 
heard in their defence ; the Catholic priesthood should prevail 
on Doctor Doyle, Mr. Kenny of Clongowes College, the Irish 
Jesuit, and Mr. Keogh, to take a tour of England for the pur- 
pose cf soliciting subscriptions for really instructing the Irisi* 
poor, and for the purpose also of, at the same time, disabusing 
the English people of the prejudices so industriously circulated 
against the Irish people and their religion, but allowing every 
opportunity for their opponents to be heard. 

It would be the only effectual mode of conveying to the Eng- 
lish people that information which the English press does not j 
find its interest to furnish them with, and the Euglish people j 



353 



SELECT, SPEECHES OF 



would have an opportunity of seeing what an Irish Jesuit really 
is, and not as described by Sir Harcourt Lees. 

Mr. O'Connell then gave notice of a motion for an address to 
the Catholic clergy, calling upon them to request those distin- 
guished, persons he had alluded to, to undertake the mission 
through England, for the purpose of soliciting subscriptions for 
the education of the Irish poor ; and meeting and refuting tho 
ualumnious attacks of which he had spoken.. 



SATURDAY, June 25, 

Mr. O'Connell gave notice of a motion for appropriating the 
sram of £100 for the purpose of discharging all claims of news- 
papers upon the Catholic Association ; but he would assert that 
there were. several made which had no just foundation. 

At one period of the Catholic Board he (Mr. O'C.) found they 
were £3000 in debt, and in the space of one fortnight he cleared 
off £2500. Mr. Hay kept possession of some of the books con- 
taining the finance accounts. These he retained as private pro- 
perty, upon what grounds he (Mr. O'C.) could not conjecture ; 
but he would repeat, although he knew he was putting his hand 
in a hornet's nest, that the most unjust demands were made by 
the Dublin newspapers— by the base Dublin press, that turned 
upon him and all the honest Catholics for pursuing the same 
measures that are now approved of ; but in spite of that vile 
press, he now held up his head too high, and enjoyed too much 
the confidence and consideration of the public, to be affected by 
Uieir envious rancour or impotent malignity. 

If he now made use of them, it was not for their sakes, but 
oecause they were necessary, and served the cause in which he 
was engaged ; but their claims should, when all others were 
discharged, be considered as honorary ones, notwithstanding he 
knew them to be unfounded, and also knew the calibre in society 
of those persons who put them forward. Although the debt 
was that of the peers and aristocracy, whose interests alone they 
advocated in those days, yet the Catholic rent, the voluntary 
contribution of the people, should pay those claims upon the 
nobles and honourables, who have now shamefully deserted their 
own cause. 

TV* appointment of Edward Dwyer, Esq., having been again called into question, 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



353 



Mr. O'Connell then proceeded to defend the appointment of 
an assistant-secretary, whose duties could only be performed by 
a gentleman of education, intelligence, and ability, who would 
have to reply to upwards of twenty letters per day, to keep 2500 
accounts, to correspond with and supply the country collectors 
and treasurers with books, and to acknowledge the receipt of 
every contribution ; for those who subscribed one pound were 
as deserving of an acknowledgment as those who transmitted 
much larger sums. 

If, he said, he could be surprised at any occurrence in the un- 
fortunate history of the Catholics, it would be at the opposition 
that was offered to this appointment ; but to prevent further 
| cavilling, he would himself pay the £80 for the six months. 
Cries of no, no.) 



AGGREGATE MEETING.. 

Mr.- O'Connell gave notice of amotion for calling an aggregate meeting. 

The Association, he said, had been appointed for the purpose j 
of preparing petitions to parliament for obtaining redress for j 
Catholic grievances, to procure a due administration of the laws, ! ! 
by bringing before the tribunals those who convert them to 
party purposes, and the oppression of Catholics ; and for the 
purpose of procuring the necessary funds for those objects. 

As the petitioning sessions were now at a close, the Association 
would give the Catholic body an opportunity of assembling gene- 
rally, and of approving or condemning their proceedings. The 
aggregate meeting for that purpose it was intended should be 
held about the latter end of July, against which time the heads 
of a number of petitions would be ready to submit to the meet- 
ing : amongst which would be one for liberty of conscience upon 
subjects of religion, to be presented by Sir F. Burdett and Lord J 
Donoughmore. 

If they could get the Dissenters of the North of Ireland to 
join them in that petition, they would pray the legislature tc 
extend to the Dissenters of England the privileges of the Dis- 
■enters in Ireland ; and if all Jack Lawless says of the Dissen- 
ters of the North of Ireland be true, there would be no doubt 
of their joining in the petition. The next would be upon tha 
subject of Catholic education — another upon church rates, fo r : 
vol. ii z I 



354 SELECT SPEECHES OP 

the purpose of obtaining some remedy against such monstrous 
injustice as is suffered from this impost. 

In a parish in Waterford, containing 3640 inhabitants, amongst 
that number of persons there are but four Protestant families, 
yet the Catholic inhabitants are assessed in the sum of £2600 
per annum, for supporting a church for the use of those four 
families ! There would be also a petition praying for a mitiga- 
tion of the tithe system ; one for a real revision of the magis- 
tracy ; one for the revision of corporations ; and, above all, one 
for the reform of that system of practical corruption so unblush- 
ingly practised in the Dublin corporation, or " city nuisance 
and then the Catholics will join them in seeking for the removal 
of the other greatest nuisance that ever cursed a city — the 
Paving Board. 



SATUBDAY, July 3. 

Counsellor Scanlan in the Chair. 

A letter was read from Frederick William Conway, Esq., (the late respected proprietor 
and editor of the Dublin Evening Post, hut then only editor of that journal), resigning, as 
one of the secretaries of the Association. 

Mr. O'Connell paid Mr. Conway a marked compliment, and moved him the thanks of 
the Association for his very eminent services in the Catholic cause. Several other gen- 
tlemen spoke in high commendation of that gentleman, and the motion being put from 
the chair, was carried unanimously. 

Mk. P'Connell then rose and said, he regretted much that 
he had t,o occupy the attention of the gentlemen assembled with 
matters of a personal nature ; at a moment when so many im- 
portant subjects of public interest were pressing upon them for 
discussion. 

| It was, however, after all not a matter of little importance to 
, the Association, that the character and conduct of its members, 
; especially of those who had to come forward often before the pub- 
lic, should be vindicated from wanton and undeserved attacks. | 
They could not be successfully assailed and disgraced, without 
some portion of their discredit falling upon the Association, which 
allowed them to take a prominent part in its proceedings. He 
should, therefore, without delaying them with any further pre- , 
face, throw himself upon the kindness of the Association, while 
he observed upon some calumnies that had been recently circu- 
lated against him by a portion of the Irish press. 



DANIEL o'CONXELL, ESQ., M.P. 



355 



Before he entered upon his own case, he should just advert to 
the charge against his friend, Counsellor Coppinger, who, it was 
stated, had brought an action against Mr. Ma gee, the proprietor 
of the Evening Post. Now the Mr. Coppinger who was plain- 
tiff in that action, was a young gentleman, a merchant of Cork, 
and although it was stated with great confidence, that Mr. Magee 
was left to pay .£500 damages and costs upon that occasion; the 
feet was, that he never had occasion to pay one penny on ac- 
count of that verdict ; for, in the first place, the damages were 
not for <£500 but ,£60. He (Mr. O'Connell) was the person 
employed to negotiate the transaction between Mr. Magee and 
the real defendant, who not wishing to appear in the transaction, 
ordered his law agents, Messrs. Allen and AYare, to defend the 
action. They did so, and upon the verdict and the costs being 
ascertained, the real defendant authorised him (Mr. O'C.) to 
request of Mr. Magee to accept a bill at twenty-one days for 
<£140 damages and costs, drawn upon him by Messrs. Allen and 
^Yare, in order that the transaction might have all the necessary 
forms, as if Mr. Magee was the real defendant. 

That bill for £140 he (Mr. O'C.) paid, and could have it pro- 
duced with the necessary receipt upon it. 

So much for that calumny ; and now he should proceed to 
those that affected himself more immediately. 

He was sorry to say, that he had found it necessary to bring 
an action against two newspapers, for the malignant libels he 
should now call their attention to. It was his first determina- 
tion to apply for a criminal information against them, because 
that course would give him an opportunity of denying those 
charges, upon oath ; but, upon reflection, he abandoned that 
idea, because the defendants would not have an opportunity of 
proving their allegations, and, according to a principle of the Bri- 
tish law, acted upon in the courts, but which he (Mr. O'C.) had 
always condemned and contended against, the defendants would 
be considered equally culpable whether those charges were true 
or false • but lie challenged inquiry, and for that purpose 
determined on bringing his action, and if they have a case, they 
will obtain their costs, and he that ignominy, odium, and dis 
grace, which should follow upon establishing such charges. 

Then, indeed, he should acknowledge himself undeserving the 
consideration of the Catholic people. 

For the purpose of rebutting these calumnies distinctly, and 
meeting them broadly without any reservation, he would divide 
them under four heads : 



356 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



The first charge was, " That a person named Harding Tracy 
had him completely in his power ; that he knew, and could 
prove him to be the author of the publication for which he was 
prosecuted ; that he destroyed the manuscript at his request ; 
and that he (Tracy) afterwards procured a part of that manu- 
icript ! ! ! That he was a model of firmness and constancy, 
and refused to betray him, although earnestly requested by 
government to do so." 

With respect to that statement, he should set out by assuring 
the meeting that every word in it was false and unfounded — 
that in short there was not only not a single particle of truth in 
it, but that the direct contrary was the truth and the fact. The 
Evening Mail said that the speech* published in the Cork Mer- 
cantile Chronicle, was not spoken. The speech was written as 
nearly in substance and words, as it was spoken. It adverted 
to Napoleon's having regained his throne, which he Mr. O'Con- 
neil had attributed not to that great man's military talents, but 
to the gratitude and admiration of the French people, for the 
code of civil laws which he had instituted, and the perfect ad- 
ministration of justice between man and man, which he had 
established, and which the Bourbons have been forced to con- 
tinue. And he then had gone on to contrast that code of laws, 
in their principles and effects, with those of other kingdoms. 
Saurin took up that speech, and whenever France was mentioned 
he inuendoed Ireland, and whenever the word French occurred, 
he set it forth in the information, as meaning thereby the Irish. 

Perhaps in ordinary times a defendant in such a case might 
have appealed to a jury with confidence, but those were not 
such times, and Mr. Saurin was Attorney- General. The pro- 
prietor of the Cork Chronicle, Mr. Healy, became a bankrupt 
after the information was filed ; and in order to preserve the 
paper and property for Healy's family, Doctor England, the 
present pious, learned, and amiable Catholic Bishop of Charles- 
ton, in America, benevolently stepped forward, and at a public 
sale purchased the interest and rights of proprietorship of that 
journal. 

Mr. Saurin did not think it right to come upon Dr. England, 
and as tho proprietor was in the situation just mentioned, he 
abandoned the information against him and filed one against 
Tracy, the printer of the paper, in hopes that he would be en- 
abled, by punishing that poor man, 4 to trace the manuscript of 
the speech t€> him (Mr. O'Connell). Under these circumstances I 
he waited upon Dr. England, as the then proprietor of the paper, I 



DANIEL o'COXXELL, ESQ., M.P. 357 

and the protector and friend of Healy. Doctor England advised 
that he (Mr. O'Connell) should pay the law expenses ; and if 
the defendant was found guilty, leave the provision for the de- 
fendant to the proprietor of the paper. 

; Tracy did not plead ; and Saurin, in a speech of some hours, 

j expended all his gall and vituperation in personalities against 
him (Mr. O'C.) He referred to the newspapers of the day to i 
show whether he did not stand with his arms folded, listening j 
patiently to Mr. Saurin, and when he (Mr. O'C.) replied to him, 
not one word escaped his lips in allusion to the personalities of i 

; the Attorney- General. He restrained his indignation, and aban- 
doned retaliation, fearing it might have an unfavourable effect 

| upon Tracy. 

As soon as Tracy was sentenced, he applied to government 
for pardon, stating that he was but the printer, and could not 
give any information of the person who supplied the speech. 
He also made an affidavit to that effect, but it was not consi- 
dered sufficiently strong, and he made a second, which was 
drawn for him by Mr. Eneas McDonnell, in as full and explicit 
terms as it was possible, and repeated that, to his knowledge, he 
(Mr. O'C.) had no connexion with the publication. After a consi- 
derable time taken to consider the second application, it was de- 
clared not sufficient, and a third affidavit was drawn, but without 
better effect : and then the poor man, who was honest, said, "What 
I have stated are the facts, as far as I know, and as you are not 
satisfied with the manner or form in which I state them, draw 
up an affidavit in the strongest terms you like, draw it up your- \ 
self, and provided it is in substance what I have already declared, 
I will swear to it." The government had an affidavit drawn up 
accordingly, in their own terms ; and when it was found that 
Tracy could not assist in tracing the manuscript, he was dis- | 
charged, upon the condition of his not returning to Cork. } 

Now was it consistent with the fact, or was it possible, that 
a man who was discharged upon his own affidavit that he had i j 
no knowledge of, nor any means of knowing that he (Mr. O'Con- 
nell) was the person who furnished the report, could have any I 
portion of the manuscript in his hands, and have so romantically 
and heroically refused to give it up, or that if he had done so, 
he would have received an immediate pardon ? 

Really party spirit should not cany men to such an extraor- 
dinary and monstrous length beyond truth, with the view of 
defamation. After Tracy had got out of prison, Mr. To^vnsend, j 
who had a friendship for him, gave him employment, and he i 



358 



SELECT SPEECHES OF . 



lived for seven years afterwards. The Correspondent hated him 
(Mr. O'C.) as jnuch then as it does now ; and is it likely they 
would have let the opportunity pass without publishing the 
circumstances, when they had the man in their employ to prove 
the facts, and when he would have received money as well as \ 
liberty 1 

If the Correspondent had done so, he (Mr. O'Connell) would 
have brought Tracy to prove his affidavits denying what they 
now charged him w r ith. He believed it was hardly necessary to j 
say, after what he had stated, that nothing could be more ut- j 
terly false than the charge he had just replied to. (Hear, hear.) 
The second charge was, " That Tracy lay in prison couched on 
straw, a cell his chamber, and was left to starve in the society 
of felons." 

With respect to Tracy lying on straw, he could not say ; but 
if he did, he had a strange fancy, for he (Mr, O'Connell) paid ; 
half-a-guinea a week to provide him with a feather bed. If ha 
associated with felons, his taste and habits must have been na- 
turally depraved, for he (Mr. O'C.) paid forty shillings a week 
for Tracy's board at the same table with Mr. Eneas M'Donnell. 
(Hear, hear.) And he shared the same bottle and the same 
table with that respectable gentleman at his (Mr. O'Connell's) 
expense, although Dr. England said he should not do so. Mr. 
Eneas McDonnell could prove the fact, for he (Mr. ? C.) gave 
him the money to pay for Tracy ; and to the hour of Tracy's 
death, he was not aware but it was Mr. M/Donnell who sup- 
ported him. The simple reason why not, was, that it was well 
to conceal the fact from Mr. Saurin, lest that knowing he paid j 
for Tracy, the poor fellow might be kept in for the purpose of 
punishing him (Mr. O'C.) by mulcting him in the payment of 
that weekly sum. 

He wanted no gratitude from Tracy, who most thankfully -.ac- 
knowledged Mr. M'Donnell's kindness ; and if more money was 
not expended on Tracy, it was not his fault, for he told Mr. M, 
to let him have everything that could contribute to his comfort 
— (Hear) — nor would he now have mentioned those circum- 
stances, but that he had been taunted with having neglected 
Tracy. 

With respect to the third charge : Ci That Tracy's wife and 
family were left to starve, whilst he was in prison and the 
Correspondent adds, " that his weekly wages were stopped by the 
proprietor of the Cork Mercantile Chronicle, during his imprison- 
ment." If this charge were true, it would have been a most 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



monstrous breach of faith oil the part of Doctor England, who 
was never accused of the contempt of a moral duty, for he un- 
dertook, at the commencement, to pay Tracy's wages in full to 
his wife and family every week during his confinement. Upon 
he (Mr. O'C.'s) hearing, while in Cork, about that period, that 
a report was circulated of Tracy's family being left unprovided 
for, he waited upon the Eev. Thomas England, as the Doctor 
was not in the county, and that rev. gentleman assured him 
that he himself paid Tracy's wife, every week, the full wages to 
which her husband would have been entitled if at work ; so that, 
instead of being neglected, the Tracys were actually in the re- 
ceipt of more money than before the imprisonment ; and yet 
the Correspondent had added that calumny to the one which 
appeared in the Mail. 

And now he would proceed to the fourth charge. " That he 
(Tracy) got an illness in prison of which he died." 

The fact was, that Tracy did not die for seven years after he 
was imprisoned, and then it was not from an illness contracted 
in prison, but from a sore throat ; and during the seven years he 
lived after this event, not one murmur escaped his lips of his 
(Mr. O'C.'s) neglecting him nor that he (Tracy) was his victim. 
It is clear such complaints would not have hurt, but served him 
,v T ith his employer. It would have just suited the Correspondent 
to be enabled to say. " We have a man in our employ, the 
wretched victim of this demagogue, who, but for the relief we 
afford him, would long since have perished from illness and want, 
I occasioned by his too honourable and chivalrous fidelity to an 
j ungrateful and seditious libeller." 

But what was the faGt, the man never applied to him (Mr. 
| O'Connell) but twice for thirty shillings each time, long after he 
left the prison, and which he gave him ; and a third time he wrote 
him a letter in which he stated distinctly and emphatically that 
he had no claim upon him — that his imprisonment was not oc- 
casioned by him but by the proprietor of the paper ; and which, 
thanking him for the other two favours, stated that he was in 
great want of five guineas. 

He had now his letter to produce, and also a receipt for the 
five guineas from the messenger who brought the letter. He for- 
tunately could produce evidence, and witnesses, to every circum- 
stance he had stated. Doctor England would shortly be in Ireland, 
on his way to Rome, and Mr. M'Donnell was in London. He 
would be enabled to have his trial in March next, when pledgee 2 



360 



SELECT SPEECHES OP 



himself to prove that every tittle of the calumnies lately published 
were false and unfounded. 

He confessed that of all charges he did not expect to be ac- 
cused of the vice of love of money. He was also taxed with assu- 
ming a consequence from his popularity. That he had exhibited 
any such feeling he was unconscious, at least of the intention j 
and if he possessed any popularity, it was the result of his feeble, 
Out earnest exertions for the liberty and prosperity of his op- 
pressed country. He had, when the interest of his fellow bonds- ' 
men required it, bearded the vengeance of the government — he 
had, when the interest of his client commanded it, bearded the 
authority of the bench— and he had, when the Catholic cause 
was to be benefited, bearded the virulence of the press — he 
would repeat, of that " base press," which had calumniated him. 

But he respected the press generally, and no man venerated 
more its legitimate functions. It was with regret he learned, 
that any thing which had fallen from him should have been the 
means of depriving the Catholic Association of the services of 
so able, independent, and distinguished a member of the press 
as Mr. Conway. For the first time in his life, he should ac- 
knowledge, that if through him (Mr. O'C.) the Catholics lost 
that gentleman's assistance, he had done mischief to the cause. 

After thanking the meeting for the kindness and indulgence with which they had heard 
him, the learned gentleman sat down amidst the most general arid hearty applause, from 
the most numerous meeting we have yet seen in the rooms of the Association. 

Of course, even such a vindication as the foregoing, did not save Mr. O'Connell from 
the calumnious attacks of the enemies of the cause, nor induce the slightest evidence of 
\%ret on tlr^ir ^rc for their unfounded aspersions. Throughout his life the calumnies 
here refuted, and others in abundance, have been from time feo time repeated and renewed, j 
and even some of those who were at different periods working in the agitation with him, 
have not scrupled, because of some petty and unwarrantable exasperation against him, to 
take up and seek to wield the foul weapons of the worst foes to their country and their 
religion. 

THE POLICE. 

Mr. O'Connell observed, that the great utility of having sent 
down professional gentlemen on the inquiry at Fermanagh was 
now apparent, as also the propriety of abstaining, as he did at 
the time, from any mention of the misconduct of the magistrate, 
in order that the government should have the exclusive credit 
of bringing the magistrates before the proper tribunal without 
any public suggestion ; and it was consolation to see that his 
Majesty's Attorney-General had so promptly come forward to 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 3G1 

discharge not more important than beneficial to the public 
interests. 

The persecuted peasantry would now have convincing testi- 
mony of the value and advantage of seeking legal redress of 
; their grievances, instead of the horrible remedy of violence and 
1 outrage. They had only to make their wrongs known, and 
! government would see justice done ; and here was an unanswer- 
able proof of the advantage of the Catholic Association, to whom 
i the peasant can look with confidence as a medium for having 
j his complaint laid before the government and the public. Since 
the committee were appointed to nominate a professional gen j 
tleman to attend the inquiry in New Ross, they had received 
intelligence that it would take place on Monday, and in conse- 
I quence had .appointed, at the least possible fee that could be 
< given to professional gentlemen, Counsellor Brie, and Mr. Cor- 
coran, the attorney, to attend the inquiry at New Eoss, and 
assist the people in bringing the matter fairly before the magis- 
trate. 



SATURDAY, July 4. 

APPOINTMENT OF A CLERK CATHOLIC RENT — PROSPECTS OF EMAN- 
CIPATION. 

I 

Mr. O'Connell now moved, pursuant to his notice, for the ap- 
pointment of a clerk for the finance department. 

Mr. O'Gorman, he said, attended this meeting, not as secre- 

; tary to the Association, but to the Catholics of Ireland, in order 
that he might have minutes of the proceedings of the Catholic 

1 Association to frame his report to the aggregate meeting. An 
attempt had been made to establish a secretary for the Catholic 
rent for each county, but no aid had yet been derived from that 
measure. There was a committee of accounts, of which, one j 
member at least, and Mr. Sugrue, attended frequently during 
the week. He (Mr. O'C.) whenever he could get from court, 
attended to the business of the Catholic rent, and yet the most 
both could do was to sign documents, and give directions for 

, answering letters. 

Hie Catholic Bent teas yet but in its infancy. They had, he 

< believed^ about £600 in hand, and the expenditure had been | 



362 



SELECT SPEECHES 



about £'20. * The y were, as yet, -in correspondence with but & 
few counties. They had a right to expect being in correspondence 
with 32 counties, and 2500 parishes. Accounts would be opened 
for at least one million of individuals, and thirty-two ledgers 
should be kept, besides an account for each city and town : and 
to men of business it was unnecessary to observe, that the suc- 
eess and prosperity of every commercial and financial undertak- 
ing depended in a great measure upon the correctness of its 
accounts. 

Surely such accuracy was particularly necessary in the case 
of the Catholic rent, when millions of persons would have to be 
satisfied of the appropriation of their money. Those interested 
in the success of the Catholic rent, must desire to have the ac- 
counts appear so intelligible, so clear, and so explicit, that no 
insidious enemy could succeed in raising doubts, or confirming 
lurking suspicions as to its application. 

And how were they to effect that object without a guide or 
compass to direct their proceedings ? Was it by the gratuitous 
or volunteer exertions of a finance committee, or other persons ? 
Experience had shown that such would be a poor reliance. It 
was not to be expected that individuals would entirely neglect 
their private concerns, to attend to the multifarious duties of an 
office which required a man of intelligence, who should be a good 
accountant, a good clerk, a man of some literary abilities, and 
a person of character and respectability. 

Such a person he had found, and he thought it was not going 
too far, under all the circumstances, to secure one on whose 
skill and integrity he could rely, and make arrangements for 
his engagement at a certain rate of compensation. It was true 
he had put such a recommendation on the books of the Finance 
Committee, but he had since reflected upon the subject, and 
he considered that to nominate would be an assumption of 
power and patronage that did not belong to him — (Cries of no, 
no ) — that the subscribers of one penny per month had as good a 
right to participate in the appointment of officers to the Asso- 
ciation as the most liberal subscriber. (Hear, hear.) 

It is not enough for public men to act from pure motives, but 
>hey should also appear to do so. Their conduct should bo 
above doubt. In the appointment of persons to situations in 
the Catholic Association, it would be of importance to avoid 
giving cause for cavil or insinuation. He thought, therefore, 
they should follow the mode of election adopted in the Dublin j 
Library, the success of which institution he attributed to its j 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



363 



popular elections, where no autocrat assumed to rule its govern- 
ment, and he rejoiced to find that a spirit of wholesome jealousy 
had manifested itself in the Catholic Association as to the dis- 
tribution of its funds and the exercise of its patronage. He 
could not help considering that feeling as a fortunate omen of 
the success of the Catholic rent ; to the success of which great 
measure he looked with confidence to produce Catholic Emanci 
potion. With fifty thousand pounds a-year they would have the 
means of silencing the various calumniators of the Catholic peo- 
ple, and of meeting each at every threshold of his hold whenever 
he should possess a local habitation ; they should be enabled to 
explain and proclaim the principles of the Irish Catholics, to 
state their wants to Europe, and to make the nations of the 
world familiar with their degradation ; to procure honourably the 
aid and advocacy of the English and Irish press, and to obtain 
at least a fair trial of the merits of the Catholic claims. 

England should at last become sensible, that it is necessary 
to her safety that the affections of Irishmen should combine 
with their allegiance, and this island become a part of her 
I strength, and not continue a portion of her weakness. Could 
I it be said that Ireland was not a part of her weakness, when in 
j the time of peace an army of 36,000 men was necessary to pre- 
j serve even a semblance of tranquillity ? What would be their 
condition in time of war ? and would he not be a benefactor to 
his country — would he not be the best friend to his Majesty, who 
could present him in the hour of England's danger with an army 
i of 36,000 men ? Would he not effectually do so, who should 
remove the necessity for retaining an army to that amount in 
; Ireland, when it should march to encounter & foreign foe ? But 
j who could say that an army of 36,000 men would be sufficient 
! for the preservation of Ireland, with a peasantry goaded by per- 
| secution, want, and despair ? 

! If the shores of this country were to be suddenly threatened 
by invaders, offering the powerful stimulant of men, money, and 
support, one hundred thousand men would not be sufficient for 

j the maintenance of tranquillity ; and, therefore, if the Catholic 
Association should succeed in removing the causes of discontent 

j and disgust, they would make a present to his Majesty of an 

! army of 36,000 men, besides the annual additions to it. 

That mighty instrument, the Catholic rent, from which those 

; blessings were to be anticipated, should not be left for support 
to the evanescent, however enthusiastic, feeling of a popular 

| meeting. It must be established by perseverance, and pro- 



3G4 



SELECT SPEECHES 01? 



longed by the attention of its managers, the minuteness, accu- 
racy, and the fidelity of its accounts, and the propriety of its 
expenditure. For the first time in his life, he (Mr. O'Connell) 
should say, that the Catholic people would owe him a debt of 
gratitude, should the Catholic rent succeed to the extent he ex- 
pected, and should it be firmly established. 
' The learned gentleman concluded with moving the following 
resolutions : — 

That it is necessary to have a clerk employed to assist in managing the 
collection of the Catholic rent, and in the distribution of the books and reports, 
and in carrying on correspondence with the several parishes, cities, and counties 
in Ireland, and in keeping the accounts of the Association so that each member 
shall be able to see, at all times, the amount of all local and individual sub- 
scriptions, and the application of every shilling expended. 

" That the Association do proceed on Friday next to elect such clerk by 
ballot. 

" That the amount of the salary to be paid to such clerk be referred to the 
committee of accounts, who are to report the nature and extent of the duties of 
such clerk, and the remuneration to be accorded to him. 

*' That such remuneration, however, be not paid, unless the Association at 
large shall, on motion, of which a fortnight's notice shall be given, approve of 
the same." 

Another and a final struggle was now made to limit the salary proposed for Mr. Dwjer, 
£100 being the limit suggested— hut the amendment was lost upon a division. 

Cornelius M'Loughlin, the good and venerable old patriot, who, after a long and honoured 
life of upwards of ninety years, throughout which he was ever faithful to his country in 
her time of need, now sleeps, these three years back, in Glasnevin cemetery, " the sleep 
that knows no earthly waking," attended on this day, as throughout his life he did, -when- 
ever he thought that Daniel O'Connell wanted him ! — giving his firm support to the ori- 
ginal motion, he said that, " it could not but excite surprise in a man of business, to hear 
them dispute about a salary of £150 for the services to be performed. For his own part, 
he would only exprecs his astonishment that a competent person could be found to under- 
take such work for such a salary." 

And thus was at length carried the first appointment of the most excellent and valuable 
secretary of the Catholic Association, old Edward Dwyer ! 

£ut though carried, the annoyance to Mr. O'Connell on the score of it was partially 
revived, even at the very next meeting, and often afterwards during the existence of the 
Association. And in many another case of much the same merits and nature, had he to 
encounter paltry oppositions and controversies of a similar kind throughout the whole 
course of his subsequent agitatiorrs. 

On the succeeding Saturday the tactics of the cavillers led them to assail, generally, 
the report of the Finance Committer which had recommended the salary of Edward 
Dwyer, and in the course of the discussion the calumny against Mr. O'Connell on the 
subject of the printer, Tracy, was rather unnecessarily re-introduced. Mr. O'Connell 
expressed himself warmly upon this. 

He said he thought he could now at last trace the source 
from whence the malignant aspersions of the Orange press had 
originally emanated. (Cheers.) 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 365 

If the press of Dublin bad meant fairly towards him, they 
would have published the statement given in that truly Irish and 
independent journal, the "Cork Mercantile Chronicle" In that 
paper there had been set out an extract from the ledger of that 
establishment, giving the statement of the account of wages, in 
debtor and creditor form, between the late Harding Tracy-and 
that journal. From this statement it most clearly and satis- 
factorily appeared that Tracy's wife was not only paid her hus- 
band's full wages while be was in prison, but so accurate and 
minute was the account, that it proved she had received ten 
shillings and elevenpence over and above the actual sum of those 
wages. 

The statement from the Chronicle's ledger also contained other 
important facts, entirely corroborative of the fidelity and accu- 
racy of the account in question : — facts to which be (Mr. O'Con- 
nell) had pledged himself on a former day, and defied contradic- 
tion. Yet the Dublin press had taken no notice whatever ! It 
might perhaps answer some of the purposes of a u liberal Catholic," 
who had written for the Orange press to charge him with leaving 
persons to suffer. (Cheers.) 

Mr. Kikwan.. — "If that allusion is intended for me, I distinctly deny the i 
charge," 

Mr. O'Connell rejoiced to hear the contradiction. He was ! 
always ready to avow, and be responsible for what he really said, 
but he protested against any responsibility for language which 
newspapers, for their own purposes or particular views, might 
attribute to bim. Mr. Magee was prosecuted for a speech of his 
(Mr. O'Connell's), but on that occasion he informed Mr. Magee 
he was ready to avow what he said upon the occasion of that 
speech, and if he would take his (Mr. O'C.'s) own words, he should 
have them. 

He made the same proposal to the Attorney-General, in court, 
and offered him a report of the speech taken in short-hand, by 
Mr. Kernan, the barrister. That avowal and proposal never ap- 
peared in any of the Dublin newspapers — and was he not justi- 
fied in calling it a base 2^ress ? 

Here Mr. Mullen made some suggestion to Mr. O'Connell, who, resuming said, 

jSlo, Mr. Mullen is mistaken, we are kept from the enjoyment 
of our rights as freemen, and the term of our degradation pro- 
longed by the want of spirit, zeal, and independence of a press 
in Dublin, which assumes a character to which it is not entitled. 



i 366 SELECT SPEECHES OF 

i 

j either by talent or virtue. Mr. Magee was convicted for the 
| speech alluded to, but was never sentenced, because the Attorney- 
! | General's great object in the prosecution was to fasten upon him 
I (Mr. O'C.). 

It was painful to have to speak in the tone he did ; but men 
should defend their character when assailed, and neither the 
unworthy aspersions of Mr. Kir wan, nor the unfair conduct ot 
the press, could be allowed to pass without reproof. 

An explanation was then made by Mr. Kirwan, and the matter terminated. 



SATURDAY, July If. 

QUESTION OF HOLDING AN AGGREGATE MEETING OF. CATHOLICS. I 

I 

Mr. O'ConnelL said he had cheerfully conceded to the opinion j 
of his friends, though contrary to his own, that there should be j 
no aggregate meeting in Dublin till the first week in November [ 
next, and that the Association should adjourn for general busi- j 
ness from the 31st July till the second Saturday in October. ! 

He then gave notice for the appointment of committees to j 
prepare an address to the people of England, and drafts of the 
following petitions to parliament, to be submitted to the ag- | 
gregate meeting. 

To pray that the Protestant Dissenters of England may be 
placed upon the same footing as the Protestant Dissenters of 
Ireland. 

That the education of the poor in Ireland may be confined to 
morality and literature, and not consist of proselytism. 

Upon church rates — praying that the poor Catholic peasant 
may not be obliged to pay for the repairs and embellishment of 
a splendid church, for the use of a few families. Mr. O'Connell 
here instanced a case in Chancery, in which he was engaged, and 
it was no matter of doubt, that a sum of £500 had been three 
times levied to repair a church, and it was not finished yet. 

There were at this moment, in the town of Carlow, two hun*- 
dred men seeking employment at twopence per day, and who, but 
for the exertions of the Catholic fcTergy and Doctor Doyle, would 
have ere now perished from famine, leaving numerous families 
to share the same horrible - fate. Yet in this neighbourhood, 
where there are but thirteen Protestant families, and a church 



DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., M.P. 



367 



capable of affording accommodation to thirty times the number, 
they are about erecting a new one, towards which the famishing 
peasant, when his potato garden yields a return to his laborious 
toil, must contribute. 

Also drafts of petitions relative to the diminution of tithes, 
and increasing the facility of paying them in kind. And for 
the better administration of justice in Ireland. 

En .Tun c of this year a public dinner was given to Mr. O^CoimelL of iftofch the following , 
was the newspaper report :— 



DINNER TO ME. O'CONNELL. 

Thursday, 3rd inst, the public dinner given to Mr. O'Connell took place at 
the Corn Exchange v A few minutes after seven o'clock, 

The Chair was taken by Colonel Butler. 

At the right hand of the chair sat Mr. O'Connell : Mr. O'Gorman, the secre- 
tary to the Catholic Association, sat on the left hand of the chair; and next to 
Mr. O'Gorman sat Mr. Shell, who was a guest. Nearly three hundred sat down 
to dinner. 

The two vice -presidents were, Mr. Francis Wyse and Mr. Nicholas Mahon. - 
As soon as the cloth was removed, the chairman gave the usual loyal toasts. 
The chairman then gave, 

" Our guest, Daniel O'Connell, Esq., the honest and uncompromising chanv 
pion of civil and religious liberty." — This toast was drank with four times four, 
and was -followed tbj general cheering, waving of handkerchiefs, and every de- 
monstration of enthusiastic applause. 

Mr. O'Connell rose to return thanks, on which the applause was renewed. 
When silence was restored, that gentleman spoke to the following effect : — ■ 

Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen — There certainly are sensations 
infinitely too big for utterance ; when a man talks of wanting i 
words, it merely happens that he wants ideas. That, however, ! 
is not my case, for ideas so crowd upon my mind, and so unite j 
in forming that grateful feeling in my breast, to express which 
eyen the powerful dialect of my native land must fail. I defy 
the vigorous expression even of Ireland's ancient tongue to ex- 
press that feeling. No, gentlemen, I am not able to express it; 
nor shall I take up your time in the presumptuous attempt. 

What is it that has brought us together 1 Not the humble 
individual who addresses you. Millions could not buy the suf- 
frages of tho men whom I see crowding this room ; wealth could 
not buy your voices ; let me hope that simple honesty has done 
it. It is that principle of disinterested affection fcr the finest 



SELECT SPEECHES OF 



and most wretched country in the world, that has brought us 
together. The freedom of my native country has been my first 
object through life ;- and no matter how I may be calumniated 
I will, while I have breath, struggle to make Ireland what she 
ought to be— 

" Great, glorious, and free ; 
The firs* flower of the earth— the first gem of the sea 

When I see such an assemblage as that present this day, I 
will not dare to despair. From this moment I cherish hope, 
and will make a vow to my country not to despair. There is 
not the physical force in Great Britain to prevent Ireland's 
rights. What is the principle on which we act % We respect 
the constitution — we revere the throne. 

I love that part of the constitution, the Commons' House of 
Parliament. It is as if the nation at large were to congregate ; 
and if members are selected to represent the people, it is because 
it would be impossible that the entire natiou could form one as- 
sembly. Every being, however, who cannot attend, is supposed 
to have his representative, though some of the agents who are 
i elected, and who should be responsible to the public at large, sell 
I the people's rights for a portion of the people's money. 
| If in our struggle to obtain our rights, we do not pause to 
j calculate and weigh every word — if we use the language of 
honest indignation to the congregated Orange phalanx of bigot- 
ted oppressors, let us not be condemned for it, we ought to be 
applauded. It shows at least the value we set on the privileges 
of which we have been deprived. Ought we not, then, to speak 
in the language of indignation ? 

It has been said that I have been intemperate. Gentlemen, \ 
I acknowledge I have been intemperate. I will be intemperate, j 
and I ought to be intemperate ; I have three hundred witnessed j 
here that I am intemperate ; I have passed a career of twenty I 
one years in the cause of Ireland ; I have served three, appren- 
ticeships in looking for her rights. In all our efforts to regain 
our own rights, we have never attempted to infringe on the 
! rights of others. Where is the man who can place his hand, or 
point his finger, on one word that we have used derogatory to 
the rights of others % I speak not of myself alone, for it would 
be presumption ; but I speak of those better, abler, and more 
talented men, who have acted with me (applause) ; and who, 
like me, are closing their years before the struggle in which they 
have been so long engaged, has closed. 



DAJNIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ., 51. P. 3G9 

With every motive to find fault, our enemies could not taunt 
us with a single word or act derogatory to the rights of others. 
And this was not because our language was guarded, for our 
tongues were ready enough to speak. We gave utterance to our 
most secret thoughts. Our principle and our practice was 
liberty of conscience. That principle which would emancipate 
the Catholic in spite of Lord Eldon and Lord Liverpool. That 
principle which would emancipate the Protestant in spite of 
Ferdinand the Seventh. That principle which would emanci- 
pate the Christian in spite of the Sultan of Constantinople. 

Lord Eldon, Ferdinand and his serene Highness, are three 
members of the same society ; they act on the same principle ; 
they form a holy alliance against the liberty of conscience ; the 
Sultan would shut out the Christian at Constantinople • Ferdi- . 
nand would shut out the Protestant at Madrid ; Lord Eldon j 
would shut out the Catholic in London (Applause). What a 
worthy trio ! how well, how wonderfully matched. The Turk, 
the Protestant, the